In March 2016, reports had emerged that the Kejriwal govt in Delhi had enacted a special team to monitor corruption in various govt departments. This team was supposed to report directly to the Chief Minister’s Office and its composition and functioning was kept confidential.
Though things were not as simple as they looked. A panel commissioned by the former L-G Najeeb Jung had found that this special team, known as a Feedback Unit, was in violation of rules as it didn’t have the required approval by the L-G. After this revelation the Kejriwal government claimed that this bureau had never existed. You can read our earlier report about this here.
Jung referred this matter to the CBI, which has reportedly found that that this unit did exist was given a 1 crore budget to carry out ”secret services”. Mysteriously out of this 1 crore, the CBI could find expense records of only Rs 50,000, which were used to uncover corruption in a private body. There were other irregularities like no records of employees even though salaries worth 41 lakh rupees were released.
Now it appears that this Feedback Unit was not constituted for any monitoring of corruption, but to indulge in snooping on behalf of Arvind Kejriwal. As reported by DNA here, this anti-corruption unit was allegedly used as a spy unit by the AAP government. The report claims that 20 govt officials were appointed to this bureau from intelligence agencies, RAW, police among others. Out of these, 5 resigned after they found that their task was to actually snoop on journalists, bureaucrats and central government officials.
Two of these officials left in the 1st two months, three a bit later, and one official was asked to quit by the government. Incidentally the report claimed that Kejriwal wanted a team of 49 ‘spies’ (maybe as a tribute to his 1st govt which lasted 49 days?) but finally settled on 20. These 20 officials were appointed allegedly without following any recruitment rules.
According to the DNA report, the remaining 14 officials (after 5 quit and 1 was asked to go) continued their ‘services’ until L-G directed the state government to close the unit down. They had access to the 1 crore rupees budgeted for carrying out snooping and sting operations. The report also claimed that even though records showed that the unit was formed under the Vigilance Department, it was actually run by the CM’s Office. Vigilance Department was kept in dark about the details.
Quoting sources, the DNA report claims that the the snooping bureau was set up a floor below of the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s office at Vikash Bhavan II, but the ACB was not even aware about it.
If all of this is true, then Kejriwal not only didn’t do much about corruption, he ended up spying on his people under the garb of fighting corruption.
Contributor at OpIndia.com,
Wish to write a great trilogy someday!