Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Friday said his questioning by the ACB for three hours was based solely on a clarification note he had signed in March and added that such probes were just aimed to stop the government’s public welfare work.
“How am I at fault just for writing a clarification note on an official file? When I asked them, they (the anti corruption branch) had no answer,” Sisodia told reporters at a press conference.
Sisodia said he had clarified in the said note that as per the Delhi Commission for Women Act, 1994, the administrative and financial powers in the panel lie with the commission’s member-secretary. “It is a note that just clarifies the law,” he added.
Earlier, the deputy chief minister appeared before the ACB regarding a case of alleged illegal recruitments in the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), in which DCW chief Swati Maliwal has been booked.
On September 29, the ACB registered a case against Maliwal and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, on a complaint of former DCW chief Barkha Singh who accused Maliwal of hiring 85 volunteers at the commission without following rules of appointment. ACB chief MK Meena had said Kejriwal was not being probed and that his name was mentioned as an accused because it was there in the complaint.
ACB officers said Sisodia was questioned because the Delhi government’s finance ministry had given financial autonomy to the DCW.
“We recovered one letter from the finance minister’s office, in which the DCW was given financial autonomy. The hiring of the new employees at the commission was done after DCW got the autonomy. Under the rules, only the Lieutenant Governor has the power to grant financial autonomy,” said an investigating officer.