Court tells CBI to release documents to Delhi government

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) A court on Wednesday told the CBI to release documents seized from the office of the principal secretary to the Delhi chief minister and wondered how a regular case was registered against the official on the basis of oral information.

“There appears a deviation in the present case as the CBI, without conducting preliminary inquiry, straight away registered the regular case on oral information,” Special Judge Ajay Kumar Jain said.

The court noted that the case against Rajendra Kumar and other public servants was that they misused their official position in granting tenders to private companies.

The allegation relates to 2010 to 2014, when the Congress ruled Delhi. There was no allegation that Rajendra Kumar and other public servants received direct pecuniary advantage in the case, it noted.

CBI officials raided the Delhi Secretariat on December 16, alleging they were investigating corruption charges against Rajendra Kumar.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed his office was too raided, and linked it to a probe he had ordered against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on issues related to alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body. The CBI denied searching Kejriwal’s office.

The First Information Report suggests that Rajendra Kumar along with other public servants provided favours to the private firms.

“When there is no direct allegation of pecuniary advantage, then some sort of preliminary inquiry is required,” the court said.

“However, in the present case, the FIR is registered on oral information, thus proceedings initiated by the CBI appears to be in haste.”

The judge also observed that the CBI, “in the garb of search warrant, cannot seize documents which are not in any way related to the case and the documents seized in this manner is clearly an abuse of power”.

The court observed that the CBI could not say, even after one month of investigation, how these documents were related to the allegations against Rajendra Kumar or the other accused.

But it noted that the Delhi Government was able to show that these documents were in no way connected with the present investigation.

However, the court granted liberty to retain photocopies of these documents and to inspect the original documents at any point of time by visiting the government office.

According to the FIR, Rajendra Kumar promoted a company, Endeavour System Pvt Ltd from 2007, by allegedly misusing his official positions and facilitated tenders worth Rs.9.5 crores to the said company.

In an application filed last month, the Aam Aadmi Party government sought the release of the documents seized “indiscriminately” by the CBI.

The plea, filed through the government’s standing counsel Rahul Mehra and Richa Kapoor, also sought “stringent action against officials responsible for raiding in a malafide manner the Delhi government office and seizing documents to cause immense dislocation of work”.

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