In March last year, there were reports that the Delhi government had set up a special team to monitor corruption in all offices. This team was supposed to report directly to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. There were source based reports informing how details of this special team were confidential, and that a couple of officials had already been suspended based on team’s feedback.
In August, the then L-G of Delhi, Najeeb Jung constituted a panel comprising former CAG VK Shunglu, former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar to look into around 400 files of Kejriwal government, which the L-G suspected were in violations of rules and laws.
The panel is reported to have found setting up of this special team in violation of rules. It was understood that this team was known as “Feedback Unit” and was set up by the Delhi cabinet in September 2015. This panel found the decision of creating such a team in violation of rules as it was not approved by the L-G as required by law.
In October 2016, Open magazine published a report highlighting various incidents of irregularities by the Kejriwal government. This Feedback Unit was mentioned in the report and it was alleged that the Kejriwal government was involved in snooping on people rather than monitoring any corruption charges.
When such allegations became public, the Delhi government apparently disowned the unit. According to a report published by News18 on 10th October 2016, “Delhi Government sources said the unit was never set up and it remained a decision. They also called the news reports about the unit’s formation as totally baseless.”
L-G Najeeb Jung, whose term was ending, nonetheless referred the matters to the CBI, which had started preliminary inquiries in January this year. In the process of investigations, they took away files specific to this Feedback Unit.
On Twitter, Delhi Chief Minister blamed Narendra Modi and informed that the CBI had taken “all files” related to the “Feedback Unit”:
गणतंत्र दिवस के एक दिन पहले, कल मोदी जी ने CBI भेज कर दिल्ली सरकार के फ़ीड्बैक यूनिट की सारी फ़ाइल ज़ब्त कर लीं।
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 26, 2017
This tweet appears to be contradiction to the report by News18 in October last year, where they quoted Delhi government sources saying such a unit was never set up. Did a unit exist as mentioned in Kejriwal’s tweet or was Delhi CM referring to the files about decision only?
If latest reports are to be believed, such a unit not only existed, but they were allotted a budget of 1 crore rupees as well for carrying out ‘secret services’. According a report published in DNA today, out of this Rs 1 crore, the CBI could find records pertaining to 50,000 rupees only.
These 50,000 rupees are reported to have been spent as a ‘bribery trap’ to expose corruption in a school and were allotted to someone named Kailash Chand in the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), but no such person was found working in the ACB. Not just that, the bribery case was related to a private school, not any government office.
There is no record of where the rest of the money was spent nor could the Vigilance Department, under which this unit was formed though it reported directly to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), locate the office of this unit or details of the employees. However, around 41 lakh rupees were released as salaries, the DNA report says.
The Vigilance Department is reported to have asked the CMO officials about details, but the department didn’t receive meaningful response, reports say. These findings hint at corruption or rampant irregularity and the CBI has now registered a case.