Secretariat raid: HC notice to Delhi government on CBI plea

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New Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the city government on a plea by the CBI challenging a trial court order directing the probe agency to release documents seized during a raid at the office of Rajendra Kumar, principal secretary to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Justice P.S. Teji also sought response from Rajendra Kumar on the CBI plea seeking quashing of the trial court’s Wednesday order.

The high court, however, refrained from passing any interim order on the agency’s plea after counsel Dayan Krishnan, appearing for the Delhi government, opposed the plea saying it has not been heard.

The court posted the matter for January 25.

The CBI in its plea filed through CBI’s standing counsel Sonia Mathur said the special court failed to appreciate that the Delhi government has already obtained attested photocopies of the documents seized and thus the order of returning the documents is “wholly misconceived”.

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“The seized documents in question are crucial and vital as evidence to prove and establish beyond all shades of doubt, the unholy nexus between the accused persons and throw light on the allegation of criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct,” said the plea.

“Many relevant witnesses are yet to be examined in light of the documents in question.”

The special CBI court order has “given undue advantage to the Delhi government” the plea stated.

“Any disclosure of evidence collected so far to any person, whether accused or a non-party, the Delhi government in the instant case, would have prejudiced the larger interest of the justice and fair investigation,” CBI contended.

CBI officials raided the Delhi Secretariat on December 2015, alleging they were investigating corruption charges against Rajendra Kumar.

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

The first information report suggests that Rajendra Kumar along with other public servants provided favours to private firms.

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 crore 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 in trial court, had 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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