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Three warnings Kejriwal chose to ignore about ex-IIT batchmate Rajendra Kumar

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Since 2013, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has chosen to ignore three warnings and serious allegations of graft against his Principal Secretary and IAS officer Rajendra Kumar, raising pertinent questions over the AAP leader’s commitment to rid the country of the scourge of corruption.

After the CBI raids on Kumar, an apparently agitated Kejriwal said he would have taken action himself had he been informed about it, vowing to “not spare even my own son if accused of corruption”.

However, the India chapter of global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) claims it wrote to the Delhi CM in May this year urging him to probe serious allegations of corruption against Kumar. Yet, Kejriwal took no action in this regard against his former IIT batchmate.

“We had sent a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in May this year after we received complaints charging IAS officer Rajendra Kumar with involvement in serious cases of graft. Though we do not wish to disclose the name of the complainant at this point of time, we have also not received any response from the CM,” TI-India Executive Director Ashutosh Sharma said on Tuesday.

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NewsGram spoke to TI-India Deputy Director Pankaj Kumar in this regard. However, the organization refused to share any further information than what has already been released to media, lest questions should be raised about their neutrality.

“We’re a neutral, non-government, non-party and not-for-profit organization. Therefore, we do not wish to indulge in politics. Whatever we wanted to share with regard to graft allegation against Rajendra Kumar was shared with media yesterday. We have nothing to add to what has already been conveyed, lest we should be seen taking sides,” Pankaj Kumar told NewsGram.

But this was not the first time Kejriwal was warned about Rajendra Kumar. In 2013, as Kejriwal was en route to the historic Ramlila Maidan to take an oath as the Chief Minister of Delhi, AAP volunteer Om Prakash sent an email to him raising a red flag against the IAS officer. NewsGram is in possession of the email that Kejriwal apparently chose to ignore.

“Dear Arvind Kejriwal ji, I humbly wish to bring it to your notice the IAS officer Rajendra Kumar whom you have appointed as your Principal Secretary was Education Director in Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government. Kumar then together with Sandeep Dikshit established a computer firm, causing a loss of crores of rupees to the Education department which continues unabated till date. All relevant contracts were not allotted to the National Information Centre (NIC). Rather they appointed persons known to them in the computer department. Please look into the matter and take appropriate action, lest a corrupt official becomes part of an honest government, sabotaging its credibility,” Om Prakash wrote (in Hindi) to Kejriwal on December 27, 2013.

NewsGram spoke to Om Prakash in this regard.

“Truth is the truth and I believe that sooner or later justice gets delivered. I considered Kejriwal ji an honest person. That is why before he took the oath as Delhi Chief Minister, I warned him about Rajendra Kumar. However, surprisingly he did not take any action. In fact, when I tried to meet him later in 2014, I was forcibly shown the door of his office. I am just a common man and a teacher. I had high hopes for AAP, but it is a pity that Kejriwal chose to ignore my warnings,” Om Prakash told NewsGram.

Prakash said, apart from this, he also tried to bring to Kejriwal’s notice the alleged irregularities in purchasing of over 500 soundproof generators by Rajendra Kumar for schools in Delhi which still remain unused and in a shabby condition. He also met Education Minister Manish Sisodia in this regard in 2013.

“Sisodia told me that relevant files were missing from the Delhi Secretariat,” Om Prakash said.

Furthermore, the CBI raid reportedly came following a complaint filed in July this year with the CBI and the anti-corruption branch of the state government by former member-secretary of the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) Ashish Joshi, accusing Kumar of indulging in graft. Joshi was dismissed by the AAP government after he sparred with AAP leader Ashish Khetan and was repatriated to his parent cadre; i.e. the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in May.

Kejriwal and DDC Chairman Ashish Khetan later wrote to the telecom ministry alleging that Joshi was on several occasions found smoking and chewing tobacco in his office.

However, Joshi on July 13 reportedly filed a complaint with the CBI alleging that Kumar, along with his friends “had floated a company which he later got empanelled with a public sector unit for doing works for departments without tenders.” His complaint culminated in the CBI raid on Tuesday.

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Saw AAP MLAs Assaulting Chief Secretary, CM’s Advisor Tells Police

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement

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The AAP had denied the charges of assault and said that the Chief Secretary was making allegations at the behest of the BJP. Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s adviser V. K. Jain on Thursday told police that he saw AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal “physically assaulting” Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, according to Jain’s statement recorded by the Delhi Police.

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement.

On Tuesday, the Chief Secretary had alleged that he was beaten up by the two AAP MLAs in the presence of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister’s residence on Monday night, where he had been called for an emergency meeting.

ALSO READ: The assault on Chief Secretary exposes the double standards of AAP government

Police later arrested Khan and Jarwal and they were sent to judicial custody till Thursday.

According to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister’s adviser had called him over the phone and asked him to come to the Chief Minister’s residence for the meeting and Jain was also present there.

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According to the statement, Jain also saw that the Chief Secretary’s spectacles had fallen to the ground and the Chief Secretary picked them up and left the room. Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, the Delhi Police submitted Jain’s statement at a city court, which said that Jain had gone to the washroom during the meeting and as he came out he saw the two AAP MLAs “physically assaulting” the Chief Secretary.

The statement was recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC, which means that it was recorded in front of the police and not a magistrate.

Sources told IANS that Jain later recorded his statement in front of a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC.

“The statement under section 164 was later recorded with the magistrate in front a camera, without the presence of police. In that statement also he (Jain) has said that he saw the two MLAs physically assaulting the Chief Secretary,” a police officer privy to the case told IANS.

The officer said that the statement under section 164 has also been submitted to the court.

Jain was first questioned on Wednesday morning and then again on Thursday and his statement was recorded on Thursday.

The change in Jain’s statement that the AAP was referring to was from a “question and answer” with Jain recorded by police after questioning him on Wednesday.

According to a copy of Wednesday’s “question and answer” recorded by police, when asked whether Jain saw the Chief Secretary being manhandled, he replied that he had gone to the washroom in between the meeting and he could not say what happened during that time.

“By putting pressure on him (Jain) throughout the day (Thursday) and by threatening him, police has forced him to change his statement,” AAP MP Sanjay Singh told the media here on Thursday.

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Singh said that the whole issue was a conspiracy to “bring down the Delhi government” and to “defame the AAP”. Wikimedia Commons

 

“How is it that the same Jain who emphatically said yesterday that he witnessed no assault during the entire time that he was present there has now claimed otherwise?” he asked.

Singh said that AAP MLAs were being arrested over an alleged assault of which there was no proof.

“But on the other hand, despite there being video footage of officials assaulting Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, there is no action taken against the guilty by the Delhi Police,” the AAP MP said.

The court on Thursday sent the two AAP MLAs, arrested on charges of assaulting the Chief Secretary, to judicial custody for 14 days.

ALSO READ: Delhi Chief Secretary row: AAP MLA arrested

Orders on the bail pleas of the two AAP MLAs and also on their police custody will be pronounced on Friday.

Meanwhile, scores of Delhi government employees across the city observed a five-minute silence outside their respective offices as a protest against the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary.

The IAS Association said that officers would continue the protest every day, till steps are taken to “ensure safety and dignity” of government staff in the city.

The AAP also hit out at Lt Governor Anil Baijal by stating that he was “working as a BJP agent” and demanded action against those involved in “manhandling and beating up” Hussain and his aide at the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. (IANS)