Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomeNews Reports'Office broken into at behest of Saurabh Bharadwaj, sensitive files photocopied or destroyed': Vigilance...

‘Office broken into at behest of Saurabh Bharadwaj, sensitive files photocopied or destroyed’: Vigilance officer probing corruption cases against AAP, Arvind Kejriwal

The letter that in the wee hours of the night, his office was broken into and sensitive files related to the excise policy probe, renovation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence and those referred to central investigation agencies was photocopied. The letter also expressed apprehensions that his office might have been bugged.

Special Secretary Vigilance YVVJ Rajasekhar, who was divested of his duties by Services Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj last week, wrote a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Anti-Corruption Branch and L-G office. The letter that in the wee hours of the night, his office was broken into and sensitive files related to the excise policy probe, renovation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence and those referred to central investigation agencies was photocopied. Room no. 403, Special Secretary (Vigilance) at Delhi Sectt, was broken into on the intervening night of 15th and 16th May at 3:00 AM. The letter also expressed apprehensions that his office might have been bugged.

The letter, YVVJ Rajashekhar says is in continuation of his previous report which stated how the Minister (Vigilance), Saurabh Bharadwaj, had instructed Assistant Directors not to submit the files related to the corruption cases to the vigilance officer.

“When these instructions of Hon’ble Minister were received at 11.30 A.M. on 15.05.2023, there are about 76 files in the Confidential Section of the
undersigned and the same were sent to the Secretary (Vigilance) according to the instructions of the Hon’ble Minister (Vigilance) without examining these 76 files, merely recording the instructions of the Hon’ble Minister where he directed the undersigned not examine the files”, the letter says.

He says that it is not the norm to transfer files to the Minister under any circumstances due to the ‘principle of arms length’, which essentially means that the minister must maintain distance from the investigation by the vigilance officer to ensure that fairness is maintained.

However, the principle seems to have been clearly breached.

The Vigilance officer said that Buniyad Singh, Assistant Director (Vigilance) called him up at 9:14 PM on 15th May and said that officers had been instructed to open the Vigilance officer’s room to get out some records. On the call, Rajashekhar says he strongly objected to these instructions given by Saurabh Bharadwaj and protested against the files being taken away.

“However, it is understood from a preliminary enquiry that Sh. Manish (MTS) has opened the room of the undersigned and allegedly photocopied all the records i.e from 15th May 2023 night to 16th May 2023 til 3:00 AM. The undersigned is not sure whether any record/file was taken away or otherwise tampered with it or photocopied. It is a serious lapse in the present scenario”, the letter says.

The files he says were in his office are following:

a) Proposal file of CBI for according sanction under section 17 A of PoC Act 1998 in excise matters and policy.

b) Tender files and terms and conditions of 6 Flag Staff, Civil Lines

c) Subsequent alterations and additions file of 6 Flag Staff, Civil Lines

d) Measurement books regarding payments made by PWD with respect to 6 Flag Staff Invoices submitted by the Contractors.

e) Notice inviting tenders files of 6 Flag Staff, Civil Lines.

f) Deviation files of 6 Flag Staff, Civil Lines.

g) Revised extra item for superior specifications of 6 Flagstaff, Civil Lines.

h) Photo of individuals that have supervised the construction of 6 Flag Staff, Civil lines.

i) “Talk to A.K. File” (DIP)

j) DIP matters regarding Supreme Court Judgement in common cause case Judgement and illegal payments of Bills.

k) Certain files relating to departments, where the matter was referred to Central investigating agencies under the extant provisions/rules.

l) Other various files/documents related to prosecution sanctions of officers of Excise Department etc. With reference to Excise Policy.

“The undersigned is apprehensive that the records will be destroyed or might have been destroyed in due course of time”, the letter further said. Rajashekhar said that he had instructed all the Vigilance Directors not to comply with such instructions since they are not supposed to take verbal orders from the minister unless they are in a declared state of emergency. Quoting the law in the letter, the officer says that unless the instructions are provided in writing, the officers of the vigilance department are not supposed to provide any files/documents to the minister to maintain the objectivity of the investigation.

“I have serious apprehension that our rooms might have been bugged and there is every likelihood of breach of secrecy, tempering of records, fabrication of records etc. I request the Senior Officers for appropriate action at the earliest. The undersigned in the meanwhile strongly instructing the Assistant Director (Care Taking) and Delhi Police In charge Inspector of Delhi Sectt. to ensure that the room of the undersigned and the Confidential Section where systems are in place are not touched or given excess to anyone without the authorisation of the undersigned”, the letter ends by saying.

The Delhi Government has said that though the officer in question was divested of his duties because there were charges of corruption against him, they questioned Rajashekhar’s “interest” in keeping some files with him. The government also said that despite this, the charges of a break-in would be thoroughly investigated, according to an Indian Express report.

In its statement, the Delhi government said, “Several complaints have been received against him… that he demands protection money. Work was officially withdrawn from him… on May 13. If work has been officially withdrawn from him… how is he still in possession of all files? When his work is assigned to other officers, the office procedure demands that he should have officially handed over all files to the new officers. What is his interest in keeping some files despite him being removed? Regarding his allegation that someone tried to break into his office at night, the government will get it thoroughly investigated whether it is true or not. If true, strict action will be taken.”

AAP Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj had ‘divested’ the Vigilance Officer of all his duties

AAP Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj had divested Special Secretary Vigilance YVVJ Rajasekhar, who was investigated the Liquor scam and the corruption case of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal spending crores of taxpayers’ money to build his private mansion, of all his duties claiming that there were allegations of corruption and extortion against the officer.

In a note dated May 13, Bharadwaj said, “There are complaints that YVVJ Rajasekhar is running an extortion racket and demanding protection money. This allegation is quite serious, which needs to be examined… All work assigned to YVVJ Rajasekhar is hereby withdrawn.”

Bharadwaj has directed Vigilance department to distribute cases and works being probed by Rajasekhar among additional directors (ADs) stating that “ADs will directly report to Secretary (Vigilance).” The order further read: “The ADs should directly put up files to Secretary (Vigilance).”

Officials close to Rajasekhar, however, said he had been cleared by investigating agencies in the cases filed against him. “He is being targeted because he has been posted in enforcement and vigilance departments in different government organisations for the last decade and has taken action against several officials,” the official claimed, according to an Indian Express report.

When Rajashekhar was divested of his duties, he had said that the move by the AAP government was illegal.

According to reports, in his reply, which has also been marked to Principal Secretary, L-G, and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Rajasekhar said “illegally transferring” him from the department is “nothing but subverting the directions of apex court, according to which the officers can be transferred only through deliberations of Civil Services Board”. The letter read: “The undersigned (Rajasekhar) is being prevented from performing duties and I apprehend serious threat and diversions of records pertaining to sensitive matters like excise matter, 6, Flagstaff Road, Civil Lines, DIP (Department of Information and Publicity)… It is requested that this matter may be brought to notice of High Court to stay the order issued by minister (Vigilance).” Reportedly, report on CM house’s renovation has been prepared and was about to be sent to the L-G.

The cases that YVVJ Rajasekhar was probing against the AAP government

Rajasekhar was probing several other cases, including excise department chargesheets and their sanctions under various provisions of the POC (Prevention of Corruption) Act, FBU case pertaining to the setting up of a separate intelligence unit, allegations of overspending on political advertisements, and charges of favourable treatment to AAP workers in hiring venues for Mohalla Clinics. He was also probing the liquor scam and Arvind Kejriwal spending taxpayers’ money on building his palatial mansion.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -