A Delhi court sent chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s former principal secretary Rajendra Kumar and six others, arrested in an alleged corruption case, to one-day judicial custody (JC) on Sunday.
The order was passed by additional chief metropolitan magistrate Shunali Gupta.
Kumar, a 1989 batch IAS oficer from the UT cadre, deputy secretary in Kejriwal’s office Tarun Sharma, Kumar’s close aide Ashok Kumar and owners of a private firm, Sandeep Kumar and Dinesh Kumar Gupta, arrested in the case, were remanded in JC till Monday.
It also sent R S Kaushik and his predecessor G K Nanda, present and former managing directors of a PSU respectively, to JC till Monday, asking all the seven accused to be produced before the special CBI court, which will consider the agency’s plea for their police remand.
“Earlier, the police custody order for five accused was passed by the designated CBI court. The application for the extension of their police custody and another application for the police custody of two accused who were arrested yesterday will be considered the designated court itself.
“Meanwhile, all the seven accused be sent to one day’s judicial custody,” the court said.
CBI has alleged in court that Kumar, an “influential” officer, was intimidating witnesses.
According to CBI, the five accused arrested earlier were showing undue favours to Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd (ESPL), a private firm allegedly floated by Kumar, in award of government contracts worth over Rs 50 crore.
CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others in December last year alleging that the officer had abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders of Delhi government departments”.
Kaushik and Nanda, present and former Managing Directors of Intelligent Communication Systems India Ltd (ICSIL), a Delhi government undertaking which is a joint venture of Telecommunication Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, were arrested as they were allegedly evasive during their questioning.
CBI has also claimed that the duo had been intimidating some of the officers whom the agency had been calling for questioning in the case.
During the hearing, CBI moved an application for further police remand of three days’ for the five accused arrested earlier and a separate plea seeking three days’ police custody of the two accused arrested yesterday.
In the application, CBI submitted that their custody was required as it wanted to confront the accused arrested earlier with those nabbed yesterday.
The accused have been charged with sections 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy), and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to criminal misconduct for allegedly favouring Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd in bagging of five contracts.
CBI has alleged that the accused persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy and caused a loss of Rs 12 crore to the Delhi government in award of contracts between 2007 and 2015, and claimed that the officials had taken “undue benefit” of over Rs three crore while awarding the contracts.
This is the same case in which the agency had come under scathing criticism from court which directed it to return the documents sought by the Delhi government seized during December 15, 2015 search of Kejriwal’s office.
The arrest of the top state government official had triggered a political storm with the Delhi government accusing the Centre of indulging in “political vendetta” and “paralysing” governance.