A Delhi court has directed the CBI to return some of the documents the agency had seized during the raid at the office of Rajendra Kumar, principal secretary to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, and his staff at the Delhi Secretariat.
Saying CBI had violated its own functioning manual, special judge AK Jain allowed the Aam Aadmi Party’s application, which was moved last month.
“The acceptance of vague reasons like investigation is still in progress implies that CBI is recognised with unbridled power to investigate even in violation of the relevant laws and regulations.
“The seizure of the present documents in question is in utter violation to the clause 14.19 of the CBI manual. Needless to say, clauses of CBI manual are binding upon the CBI,” judge Jain said.
Reacting to the court’s order, Kejriwal targeted the Prime Minister in a tweet. “Today’s CBI court order directing release of docs seized from CMO, PMO owes an explanation to the nation since CBI reports to PM.”
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said, “The court ruling has validated our stand that the raids were politically motivated. It also proves that the government lied in Parliament that the raid was not on CM office. Since the CBI works directly under the PMO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should apologise for it.”
The city government had claimed CBI should release documents seized “indiscriminately” during the raid. Many of the seizures were not related/essential for investigation in the case related to the alleged financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Delhi government’s counsel Rahul Mehra had told the court.
During arguments on the application, Mehra had termed the CBI raid on the office of principal secretary Rajendra Kumar as “a back-door” method to “jeopardize” the functioning of Kejriwal and the government of NCT Delhi. He said the CBI had not explained why it had “indiscriminately” seized documents unrelated to the alleged case.
“I’m saying this from the government’s side: Come to the CM’s office, we’ll take you in and show you everything you want. But yeh back door entry mat karo, himmat hai to seedha aao,” Mehra had argued.