The CBI on Thursday moved the Delhi High Court against a trial court direction to return some documents seized by it during the raids at the office of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary Rajendra Kumar.
The plea was mentioned before a Bench of Justices B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva who allowed the petition to be heard.
Advocate Sonia Mathur, appearing for the CBI, told the court, “the trial court’s order should be stayed because the investigation is on. We really need the documents.”
Mathur submitted that the CBI cannot give documents to somebody who is not related to the case.
She contended, “Witnesses are yet to be examined in the case, so, the documents are necessary for us.” The court then listed the matter for hearing today.
A Special Court had yesterday directed the CBI to return some documents seized by it during the raids at Kumar’s office on December 15 last year while disposing of an application filed by the Delhi government seeking release of the same.
In his order, Special Judge Ajay Kumar Jain had made stern observations on the manner in which searches were carried out and documents were seized.
The Judge had said there appears a deviation in the present case as the CBI without conducting preliminary inquiry straight away registered the regular case on oral information.
Jain noted that the allegation in the FIR suggests that accused Rajendra Kumar was able to manage multiple Managing Directors of ICSIL/senior public servants (i.e. A K Duggal, G K Nanda and R S Kaushik) between the year 2010 to 2014 and in conspiracy with them provided favours to the private firms.
“In this scenario when the public servants while discharging his official duty misuse its power and when there is no direct allegation of pecuniary advantage, then some sort of preliminary inquiry is required. However, in present case the FIR is registered on oral information, thus proceedings initiated by the CBI appear to be in haste,” he said.
Quoting the CBI manual, the judge pointed out there should not be any indiscriminate seizure of documents in any case and Investigating officer should seize and requisition the record only if the same are essential for the purpose of investigation.
“However, in the present case despite one month of the seizure of the documents, the CBI even could not categorically state that these documents relates to the present case,” the court said directing the agency to release documents seized from the Secretariat during its searches.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had renewed his attack at the Centre on the issue following the court’s observation, demanding that the PMO should give an explanation as the CBI “reports to the PM”.
He had earlier held Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the action and said it was meant to target him and not his principal secretary. He even called Modi a “coward and psychopath”.
The 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.
It had registered a corruption 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 the Delhi government departments”.
( Source – PTI )