The face-off between the Centre and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has paralysed the city-state’s anti-corruption arm, casting shadows over a key promise that the AAP leader had made to his voters. Kejriwal, who stormed to power in February this year, had promised to deliver a corruption-free government in Delhi.
The Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) has neither registered a case nor made any arrests since June 8, when Delhi’s chief administrator LG Najeeb Jung picked his man, Mukesh Kumar Meena, to head the unit, triggering a fresh round in the worsening turf war between the Centre and the state government.
Between the last week of April and June 8, the ACB had registered as many as 20 cases and made arrests in more than 25 cases, but ever since the L-G appointed joint commissioner Mukesh Kumar Meena to head the unit and replace additional commissioner SS Yadav-handpicked by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-no case has been registered neither have any arrests been made.
More than a month after five officers from the Bihar police joined the ACB, they are yet to investigate any case. They share an office on the fifth floor of the ACB headquarters in north Delhi. The most recent entrant from Bihar police -- a deputy superintendent -- who joined last week reportedly took leave immediately after joining because he found himself without any work, sources said.
The L-G has refused to acknowledge the appointment of the five officers.
“We spend our time reading media reports. We have two senior officers heading the unit but not a single case has been registered. The salary of an inspector is between R50,000 and R60,000. Officers on deputation from Bihar police will get their salary this month for doing no work. Similarly, seven Delhi Police officers who were transferred to the ACB along with Meena have no cases with them. So, 12 inspectors will be paid for doing no work this month. This is waste of tax payers' money,” an officer said.
Meanwhile, Meena and Yadav are also engaged in a war of words and accusations.
He accused L-G’s-appointee, Meena, of threatening and pressuring him and trying to hamper the functioning of the anti-graft body. It is, meanwhile, learnt that Meena has sent a notice to Yadav citing legal implications if the latter does not share the FIRs.
“Meena is trying to threaten and pressure me into providing FIRs filed with the anti-corruption bureau pertaining to Delhi Police officials and interfering in the working of ACB. He wanted to take the FIR book out of ACB headquarters, which is not allowed in the first place. And, secondly, he is not even authorised to do it. ACB reports to the directorate of vigilance and not to him,” Yadav said.