Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar and four others, including the CM’s Deputy Secretary Tarun Sharma was arrested by CBI on Monday as Rs 50-crore scam linked to various contracts came out. The Centre was trying to “paralyse” its government in Delhi, AAP Party said.
Kumar was the “kingpin” of the alleged scam conducted between 2006 and 2014, when he held various positions in the Delhi government, and for which bribes worth at least Rs 3.3 crore was paid to various people. In all, the scam caused a loss of Rs 12 crore to the Delhi government, CBI said.
AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “hatching a conspiracy to paralyse the Delhi government”.
”The Centre is afraid now… Modi ji nafrat aur gusse ki wajah se Delhi ko barbaad karna chahte hain (Modi ji wants wants to destroy Delhi due to hatred and anger),” said Sisodia.
A case of corruption was registered by CBI in December 2015 against Kumar who was linked to the award of government contracts worth over Rs 9.5 crore in alleged violation of rules and “through abuse of position”.
The probe was conducted into the matter and around 14 locations were searched then, including the office of Kumar.
CBI arrested Sandeep Kumar and Dinesh Gupta, both directors of Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd which bagged the contracts.
According to CBI, “ESPL was allegedly a “front company” floated by Rajendra Kumar in 2006, along with his “schoolmate” Ashok Kumar.”
CBI sources said, Ashok Kumar and Sandeep Kumar had long-time relations with Rajendra Kumar. “While Ashok was a schoolmate, he was also an office superintendent in the education department when Rajendra Kumar was director there. Ashok Kumar’s friend Dinesh Gupta was a supplier of stationery to the Delhi government. Sandeep Kumar was a programmer who once worked for the Delhi education department. All these people, along with Rajendra Kumar, floated ESPL with Sandeep and Dinesh Gupta as directors in November 2006,” a senior CBI officer said.
CBI spokesperson R K Gaur said, “The CBI has today arrested five persons, including a senior civil servant, government of Delhi; another official of the Delhi government, two then directors of a Delhi-based private company and a private person in an ongoing investigation of a case. The allegations relate to bribery and abuse of official position by the said senior civil servant and others to favour a Delhi-based private company in award of contracts of the Delhi government.”
The charges of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and of criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act was put against Rajendra Kumar and six others, including Sandeep Kumar and Dinesh Kumar.
Other people accused in the FIR include former and current managing directors of ICSIL — A K Duggal, G K Nanda and R S Kaushik. It was through ICSIL that many contracts were allegedly awarded to ESPL, claimed CBI.
ESPL has also been named as an accused firm in the FIR.
In December 2007, “Rajendra Kumar brought in Sandeep Kumar as a consultant for a management information system (MIS) without following due process, the agency alleged. “He even cancelled the ad looking for consultants,” a CBI officer claimed.
“Rajendra Kumar put pressure on ICSIL to get ESPL as an agency to maintain the payroll platform. In this two forged quotations were floated and ESPL was given a contract of Rs 40 lakh,” the officer alleged.
The CBI officer said that Rajendra Kumar bagged Rs 3.5 lakh by CDAC company of Noida for Delhi Transco and implemented a new system for Rs 47 lakh.
Two months before the contract was awarded to ESPL, a proposal was signed by Rajendra Kumar in August 2009, to change the tech platform of payroll and shift it to SAP.
“For SAP, Rajendra Kumar gave a contract of Rs 21 crore to NICSI, a PSU, which further sublet the project to Seal Infotech, the authorised vendor of SAP. Rajendra Kumar put pressure on Seal to pay bribes worth Rs 1.7 crore to ESPL in the form of fictitious software purchases,” the officer claimed.
He allegedly made a chart of required qualifications and remunerations for the posts and sent it to Rajendra Kumar, CBI officers alleged. “This was simply copied by Rajendra Kumar and sent as requirement to ICSIL, which gives the Rs 2.43 crore contract to ESPL without any tendering process,” claimed CBI officers.
CBI officers alleged that “the most brazen of violations was committed when Rajendra Kumar assumed office as commissioner in the trade and taxes department.
At the time, sources alleged, the department was using a VAT tech platform based on Oracle and developed at a cost of Rs 12 crore.”
“Rajendra Kumar asked ICSIL to find a new company in place of CMC which was then maintaining the VAT platform. ICSIL opened a tender for just one day. Only one company applied and qualified: ESPL. A contract worth Rs 77 lakh was given to it,” a CBI officer said.
Moreover, CBI sources said, “as the Centre pushed to standardise VAT across the country, Rajendra Kumar played a role in floating “a tailormade tender where a technical specification was added that only those with some experience on Microsoft Dynamics would get the project”. “The award of the contract went to ESPL for Rs 4.87 crore,” said the officer.