VAT chief shunted out to ‘scuttle’ Hawala probe: AAP
AAP on Tuesday petitioned Home Minister Rajnath Singh seeking an inquiry into “abrupt” transfer of VAT Commissioner Vijay Kumar, who the party claimed had unearthed a major Hawala scam, and questioned the interest of LG Najeeb Jung in issuing the relieving order “directly”.
Apart from handing over a memorandum to the Union minister, AAP leaders Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Dilip Pandey also met LG-appointed ACB chief M K Meena and demanded a “thorough probe” into Kumar’s “abrupt transfer”.
“This seems to be an attempt to scuttle the probe into a multi-crore Hawala racket in which crores of rupees appear to have changed hands. We demand that the ACB conduct a thorough and impartial probe into this extremely serious matter which involves corruption and major violation of rules,” the complaint said.
In their meeting with the Home Minister that lasted for around 30 minutes, the AAP leaders apprised him of the development that has opened a new flashpoint between the Arvind Kejriwal government and the Centre.
“Why was such an honest officer transferred within a week of him swooping down on a big hawala racket? Why did the LG not consult the state government or even the Centre?” Ashutosh asked.
“We have categorically requested the Home Minister that the matter should be investigated and also made it clear that we have serious doubts about the LG’s role,” he said.
The party alleged that Kumar had led a raid on September 30 during which he found that more than 200 companies were functioning from a single room office whose entire activity “was bogus and the companies were found to be fake”.
The company’s activities resulted in the “loss of crores of rupees” to the Delhi government, AAP claimed.
“It has never happened earlier that the relieving orders are directly issued by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Why was it done in this case?
“What was the interest of LG of Delhi in ordering this relieving directly?” the party asked.
Delhi government had last week hit out at the Centre over the transfer of VAT Commissioner Vijay Kumar and four other IAS officers, saying that it was running an elected government in the National Capital by “dictatorship” and also hinted at “pressure from lobbies” behind the move.