Court asks CBI to return seized documents from Rajendra Kumar’s office to Delhi govt

DELHI(PTI): The CBI was directed by a Special court on Wednesday to return some documents seized by it during the raids at the office of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary Rajendra Kumar to the Delhi government.

While disposing of an application filed by the Delhi government seeking release of some of the documents seized by the agency during its raid on December 15 last year, Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Jain said, “directions have been given to release the documents”.

“The application dated December 21, 2015 filed by the Government of NCT of Delhi is disposed of. CBI is directed to release the documents in terms of para number 8 of the order,” the judge said while pronouncing the order.

In its plea, Delhi government had also sought initiation of stringent action against erring officials responsible for raiding “malafidely the office of applicant and seizing documents which cause immense dislocation of work in the office of the applicant.”

“The sole objective of the raid at ‘said premises’ was to malafidely intrude, obstruct and dislocate the work of government of NCT of Delhi as such and cause immense harm, juxtaposed with state’s functions to secure societal reforms, welfare, security and privacy,” the plea had said.

CBI had raided office of Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar on December 15, 2015 during which entry of officials and staff were banned on third floor from where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal runs his government. CBI had earlier told the court that the raid at Kumar’s office was not aimed at the Delhi Government but against an alleged corrupt officer who had misused his official position. CBI’s prosecutor had also said the documents seized during the raid were relevant for the ongoing probe by the agency and had alleged that the accused in the case was a senior officer who was possessing the documents seized by it, and in all likelihood, he could have tampered with them.

Advocate Rahul Mehra, who represented Delhi government, had rebutted the CBI’s claim and said original documents were seized “indiscriminately” by the agency during the raid.

“The CBI is bound to follow its manual and only necessary documents could be seized. They seized original documents including a cabinet note of June 2015 and a telephone diary of the Chief Minister’s officer. What purpose will these documents serve,” he had argued.

Earlier on December 23 last year, the court had directed that photocopies of the files mentioned in the government’s plea be supplied to it by December 28 last year.

CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others on the allegations that he had abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments”.

In all, CBI had carried out searches at 14 places connected with Kumar in Delhi and various locations in Uttar Pradesh Gupta and claimed to have recovered about Rs 16 lakh, including Rs 2.4 lakh in cash. Foreign currency of the value of Rs 3 lakh from the residence of Kumar, CBI had claimed.

The case was lodged for alleged offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.