Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had ignored warnings by an international anti-graft watchdog over alleged corrupt practices by a senior bureaucrat under scrutiny of the CBI, besides other complaints by two government functionaries, it emerged on Wednesday.
The revelation by the India chapter of Transparency International, a reputed Berlin-based organisation, came a day after Kejriwal launched a vicious tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led NDA government over the CBI’s raid in the office of IAS officer Rajendra Kumar, the chief minister’s principal secretary and one of his most trusted aides.
On Wednesday, a letter written by a public prosecutor to the CM in September also emerged, which accused Kumar of threatening, misbehaving and warning him over the 2002 CNG fitness scam. Apparently, Kejriwal had ignored the PP’s letter too.
Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had stormed to power in Delhi last year with the promise of rooting out corruption from all levels of governance. Kejriwal’s cabinet also approved the Janlokpal Bill, which the chief minister has dubbed as the most stringent anti-graft legislation in the country.
However, Kejriwal has come under increasing criticism for trying to defend an officer accused of corruption and ignoring all previous warnings.
On May 27, Transparency International had written to the chief minister about a tip-off by a whistle-blower accusing Kumar of setting up private firms and favouring them by awarding tenders without calling for bids, said Ashutosh Mishra, the executive director Transparency International India.
He said the whistleblower had also asked the CM to check if the private firms had made bogus donations to the AAP before the Delhi assembly polls.
Terming it as a “serious issue”, the global body had even sought Kejriwal’s “personal intervention in its letter.
“We attached the complaint and sent it to the CM. We received no reply from him or the Delhi government. Later bureaucrat Ashish Joshi also filed the same complaint,” Mishra added.
Just over a week later, Joshi -- a former member secretary of the Delhi Dialogue Commission – had filed a similar complaint with the government’s anti-corruption branch seeking a probe into the Kumar’s alleged graft.
The ACB had forwarded the complaint to the CBI, which acted on Tuesday.
The letter written by public prosecutor – accessed by HT -- accused Kumar of warning him of suspension if the government advocate failed to show him case documents on the CNG fitness scam, related to awarding of a government contract to a different firm than the one selected.
“Being a government servant, I know I should not write to you directly but because you are Anna (Hazare) supporter, I ask you for forgiveness and am sending this (letter) to you,” PP Vinod Kumar Sharma has said in his letter to the CM highlighting the IAS officer’s threats.