New Delhi: CBI on Tuesday conducted searches at the office of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and over a dozen other places after it registered a corruption case against his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar.
The agency claimed it has seized a total cash of about Rs 13 lakh, including Rs 2.4 lakh from the residence of Kumar, as it simultaneously conducted raids at about 14 locations in the national capital and Uttar Pradesh.
The agency said it has registered a case against Kumar and others on allegations against the officer that he abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments”.
The Chief Minister, who is involved in a prolonged tussle with the Centre, accused the Modi government of resorting to vendetta politics and came down heavily on the agency for the raids at Players Building.
“CBI raids my office,” Kejriwal tweeted.
“When Modi cudn’t handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice. Modi is a coward and psychopath,” he said in another tweet expressing his anguish over the raids.
Rajinder Kumar Gupta, Principal Secretary of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, questioned by CBI.
Responding to Delhi CM’s allegations, Arun Jaitley said that he doesn’t need to react to this ‘rubbish’.
“Arvind Kejriwal’s morning statement appeared to be prima facie incorrect, but evening one seems to be absolute rubbish.
And I don’t think I need to respond to rubbish,” he said.
The CBI on Tuesday evening said that the complaint was received from the ACB after which the raids were conducted.
“Received complaint from ACB. Ashish Joshi has alleged corruption based on complaint and CBI probe. Rajendra Kumar gave contracts worth crores to Endeavour Systems.”
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter once again:
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addressed the media on Tuesday evening.
*CBI has been conducting raids at my office and few more locations since morning today
*CBI’s clarification is a blatant lie. It should have raided the education dept not the CM’s office
*I was shocked. A party which is considered as most honest party by the entire country, why did CBI conduct raid on them?
*Aim was to target me, not my Principal Secretary. They are checking all the files in my office
*I don’t think the raid was to probe allegations pertaining to 2007; files pertaining to the allegations never sought
*Rajendra Kumar is only the excuse, real target is Arvind Kejriwal
*It has become important for me to tell why the CBI raided the CM’s office. The CBI had come to search for the DDCA files which have Arun Jaitley’s name, as he was the former President of DDCA and probe is on in the case.
*I’m telling you Modiji, you may have scared others but I’m not among those who can be intimidated; I’ll fight till my last breath
Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should regret what he has said.
“Kejriwal deeply needs to regret what he said. It has shocked and saddened the people. He owes an apology to nation,” she said.
“PM Modi one of 10 most respected people in world and he’s calling that person a coward and psychopath? This is unforgiveable,” she added.
Whatever boundaries between the Centre and the State existed have now diminished. It is very surprising and frankly unbelievable. There is a way to do things,” said Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
Senior Advocate and former member of AAP Prashant Bhushan said that charges against Rajendra Kumar are substantial.
“Charges against Rajendra Kumar are substantial. Just because he happens to be the Secretary to Delhi Chief Ministrer, doesn’t make the raid a political vendetta. If there is substantial case against a person, who may happen to be the Secy to CM, he needs to be probed,” he said.
CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh on raids:
From 2007-2014, he (Rajendra Kumar) along with six others abused his position to award contracts.
After obtaining warrant from the competent Court, searches are in progress in 14 locations in Delhi and UP.
Reports from certain quarters regarding search at Delhi CM’s office are completely baseless.
CBI emphatically denies having searched the Delhi CM’s office, false propaganda must not be used to impede our investigation.
CBI is committed to take action against corrupt as per law.
Ravi Shankar Prasad addresses media
CBI has already clarified Delhi CM’s office has not been raided, CBI has raided after proper search warrant from the Court.
CBI has verified the charges of corruptions against Rajendra Kumar and filed an FIR.
Arvind Kejriwal should apologise to PM for using words like ‘coward’. Its totally uncalled for, unwarranted and shameful.
Text book case of corruption is being given political colour, CBI will reply to all the allegations.
Allegations against Rajendra Kumar are very serious.
Arvind Kejriwal, you emerged as an epitome of virtue in the fight against corruption.
Should we presume that you did not undertake any due diligence while appointing your Secretary.
Prashant Bhushan reacts to CBI raids
Bhushan tweets, “Kejriwal screaming vendetta merely because his ‘trusted man’ is raided by CBI w/o informing is absurd. Should an accused be warned of a raid?”
“The case against Kejriwal’s ‘trusted’ Principal Secy is substantial.Can’t scream Vendetta merely because an opp politico or his man is raided,” Bhushan said.
Delhi CM must apologise for using words like ‘cowardice’ for the PM: Satish Upadhyay, BJP
CBI is an autonomous body, Central government does not interfere with its functioning at all: Jitendra Singh (MoS, PMO)
Kejriwal says this is undeclared emergency.
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm after uproar over CBI raids at Delhi Secretariat.
Arun Jaitley says CBI raid has nothing to do with Delhi CM, Kejriwal accuses him of lying in Parliament.
Kejriwal also accused CBI of lying, saying ‘let Modi say which file he wants’
AAP leader Ashutosh on raids:
If they wanted to see any file, why did they not inform Delhi Chief Minister.
Raiding CM’s office without informing CM is an act of cowardice. Whichever file they demand, will be given to them.
Another tweet by Arvind Kejriwal, says CBI lying.
Union Parliamentary Minister Venkaiah Naidu said:
It has become fashion for Delhi CM to quarrel with Central government & to take PM’s name for everything.
CBI do not function under government. Gone are days of Congress when CBI used to be misused.
Today CBI is an independent organisation, government do not interfere at all. How can you criticise GoI & PM? PM has nothing to do with this.
According to some reports, the CBI case is against Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rejender Kumar and not against Kejriwal.