Delhi: Kejriwal’s top bureaucrat faces corruption charges

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 16, 2015 01:36 IST

A senior officer who had a bitter public falling out with the Delhi government has accused CM Arvind Kejriwal’s secretary Rajendra Kumar of setting up private firms and awarding them contracts worth more than Rs 50 crore without calling bids.

In his complaint to the city’s anti-corruption branch Monday, Ashish Joshi, thrown out by the Delhi government in April, accused the most powerful and influential officer in the Kejriwal government of empanelling his companies with a PSU and awarding them government works over a period of 12 years, beginning 2002.

“We have received a complaint and will follow the procedure. The law will take its own course,” ACB chief MK Meena said.

Rajendra, whose recent appointment as the home secretary by the Delhi government has set off another round of wrangling with the Centre, did not respond to calls or messages.

According to sources, joint commissioner of police Meena, whose appointment by lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung was bitterly opposed by the Delhi government, has marked Joshi’s complaint to an ACB inspector. No FIR has been registered,

“The modus operandi was simple: Form a company, get it empanelled with a PSU and then give orders to the PSU which in turn gets the work done through the empanelled company. It is understood that IT related work… for more that Rs 50 crore were got done through this modus operandi,” said Joshi, who served as the chief digitisation officer of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board.

When Rajendra was director (education), he had an office superintendent, Ashok Kumar, who quit in 2009 and went on to set up energy, education and real estate firms between 2009 and 2014, documents in possession of HT show.

Rajendra’s relatives were board members in many of these companies. Both Ashok and Rajendra have known each other for decades. They were schoolmates in Bihar, the documents show.

Ashok, who operates out of neighbouring Noida, denied the allegations. “I have absolutely no knowledge of what the different officials in the government, including Kumar, would have ordered in their official capacity,” he said.

The work orders were given when Rajendra was IT, health secretary, Transco CMD and VAT commissioner, Joshi said.

Most of the companies shared addresses and directors. “It is learnt that some common directors are relatives of Rajendra,” Joshi said.

Ashok, however, told HT in an email that “neither Rajendra Kumar nor any of his relatives is a director or share holder in any of the company that I am a director or shareholder of”.

Joshi told HT that the ACB authorities had given him a copy of the complaint’s receipt. “They are examining it. I have more documents to prove my allegations and will show them next time,” said the Indian Post and Telecommunication Finance Service officer, who is now back with the Centre. He served the Delhi government from July 2014 to April 2015.

The Centre and Delhi government are fighting a bitter turf war over appointment of officers, routing of files and control of police.

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