Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal has shut down a shadowy AAP government unit which was allegedly raised to keep a tab on its own officials and was even provided secret funds last year, the L-G’s office said on Friday.
The group, which the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has termed a’ feedback unit’ , had around 15 former police officials and experts.
A senior official in the L-G office said Baijal gave approval in the first week of March to shut down the unit, besides terminating its contractual staff.
The move potentially raises the spectre of a fresh confrontation between the Delhi government and the Centre’s representative. Though relations between Kejriwal and Baijal are cordial so far, the chief minister had accused former L-G Najeeb Jung of trying to usurp his government’s powers.
Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia defending the unit which he said was constituted to keep a tab on the functioning and corruption, if any, in different departments.
““What’s wrong with such a unit? The government should have such arrangements for feedback,” Sisodia said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) in January after former L-G Jung sought a probe into seven instances of alleged irregularity by the Delhi government.
The seven cases were flagged by an inquiry panel constituted by Jung under the chairmanship of former comptroller and auditor general VK Shunglu, who was tasked with examining 400-odd files for possible irregularities in decisions taken by the AAP government.
Sources said the terms of references forwarded to the CBI includes the procedure related to the unit’s hiring and secret funding.
“The unit was last year given Rs 10 lakh in secret funds. The funding and expenditure of this unit needs to be probed, besides the exact role this department was playing.
Though it is said that the cabinet approved institution of this wing, but it needs to be seen if all approvals were taken in due course,” a vigilance department official said.
A CBI official said investigations into the case was under way.
“The question of filing an FIR in the case or our officials conducting searches at any Delhi government premises can only arise when the PE into the particular case is completed,” the official said.
LG Jung had stated that some individuals were allegedly employed in the unit which was cleared by the AAP in September without consulting the L-G’s office, officials said.