CBI finds audio clips in top official’s mail, says it will help nail him

  • HT Correspondent, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 24, 2015 14:29 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday said it had retrieved five audio-clips from senior IAS officer Rajendra Kumar’s email accounts in which he is allegedly heard instructing government officials to favour a private firm in awarding contracts.

“We have taken the accused IAS officer’s voice samples and they are being forensically examined and compared with the audio clips’ voice,” said a CBI source.

The CBI last Monday had registered a case against Kumar -- a 1989-batch IAS officer who is principal secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal---and six others for allegedly favouring a private firm, Endeavour Systems Private Limited (ESPL), in getting five government contracts worth Rs 9.5 crore during 2007-14.

The agency had subsequently conducted searches at his office at Delhi Secretariat and south Delhi residence . The CBI FIR had, apart from Kumar, named the firm and two of its directors and three serving and retired officials of a Public Sector Unit, Intelligent Communication System India Limited (ICSIL). ICSIL was not named as an accused in the FIR.

“The contracts mentioned in the audio clips, which pertain to the period 2011 to 2013, were among the five that are being probed by the agency since a private firm got them in an irregular manner,” claimed a CBI source. “Kumar’s audio clips contain his voice we think, and he could be heard instructing certain officials of ICSIL to favour the beneficiary private firm in getting contracts,” claimed the source.

“The firm featuring in the audio clips was the one mentioned in our FIR. The names of three serving and former officials of the PSU also figure in the audio clips,” the source said. It was not, however, confirmed whether the PSU officials mentioned in the clips were the ones named in the CBI FIR.

“If the forensic examination confirms that the voice indeed belonged to Kumar then it will help our case against him in the court,” said the source.

The agency will soon summon others, including the then public servants, featuring in the clips and conduct forensic tests on their voice samples after procuring them.

The clips were retrieved from certain email accounts of Kumar, whose passwords he had allegedly declined to give to CBI sleuths on the first day of his questioning by the agency on Tuesday, the CBI had claimed. Kumar had eventually given the password the next day.

HT could not contact Kumar for his reactions. His advocate BS Joon said: “There is nothing wrong, irregular or incriminating in the seven–odd conversations, not five, that the CBI says it has retrieved from his email account. Kumar has never denied that he does not feature in them and never denied that his voice is not there, so how can the CBI send it to CFSL for forensic examination.”

Joon said, “CBI had also said that Kumar did not give password to the concerned email account. But he had given the password on the very first day of his questioning and this fact was recorded in the search and seizure memo.” “The CBI later changed the password and so he has no access to it now.”

Advocate HS Phoolka no longer represents Kumar.

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