The Centre has also rejected the IAS officer’s plea for voluntary retirement.
New Delhi: The noose around suspended IAS officer Rajendra Kumar, the then principal secretary to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, tightened further with the Union home ministry giving its sanction for his prosecution in a corruption case. The Centre has also rejected the IAS officer’s plea for voluntary retirement.
A fresh round of confrontation between the Delhi government and the Centre is set to intensify over the issue.
The 1989-batch IAS officer, Kumar, is facing corruption charges related to his earlier stint with the Delhi government when he held multiple posts including that of secretary, information technology department. The CBI had filed chargesheet against him in December last year. Now the court will take cognisance of the chargesheet against him.
Sources in the MHA said, “After careful examination of the CBI’s request, the home ministry has decided to give its sanction for his prosecution”. The Centre has also rejected his plea for voluntary retirement, saying it cannot be done since a corruption case is pending against him. Kumar has been charged by the CBI for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under Indian Penal Code besides provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act along with eight others.
Besides Kumar, Tarun Sharma, former deputy secretary in Kejriwal’s office, Kumar’s close aide Ashok Kumar and Managing Director of a PSU, R.S. Kaushik, co-owner of Endeavour Systems Private Limited (ESPL), Sandeep Kumar and Kaushik’s predecessor G.K. Nanda, former Managing Director of Intelligent Commu-nication Systems India Ltd (ICSIL), a Delhi government undertaking, had also been named in the chargesheet. “Now the trial court will take cognisance of the CBI’s chargesheet against the suspended IAS officer after MHA’s prosecution sanction. It is mandatory for the agency to seek sanction before filling a chargesheet against government officials”, sources in the agency said. The CBI had arrested Kumar in the case but later he was released on bail.
The agency in its FIR had also alleged that the accused persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy and caused a loss of Rs 12 crore to the Delhi Government in award of contracts between 2007 and 2015. The FIR had claimed that the officials had taken “undue benefit” of over Rs three crore while awarding the contract. The agency had analysed voice recording which were found on laptops seized during its searches. The voice sample showed that Kumar was allegedly seeking undue favours for the ESPL. The CBI had registered a case in December 2015 alleging that Kumar had abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders of Delhi government departments”.
The CBI further alleged that Kumar had prior association with Sandeep Kumar and D K Gupta, both Directors of Endeavour, and he allegedly facilitated award of five contracts of worth Rs 9.5 crore to the company between 2007-14. As Chairman Delhi Transco in 2009, he allegedly facilitated contract worth 40.5 lakh for development of comprehensive management information system to Endeavour without inviting tender, the CBI alleged. As Secretary Health and Family Welfare, Kumar allegedly facilitated award of manpower project worth Rs 2.43 crore to Endeavour through ICSIL in Nov 2010 without inviting any tender.