CBI calls Rajendra Kumar’s harassment allegation ‘baseless’

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The CBI on Thursday termed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s former Principal Secretary’s harassment allegation as “absolutely baseless”.

The Central Bureau of Investigation also said that it was an “attempt to influence the matter which is sub judice”.

The agency’s remarks came hours after Rajendra Kumar said he had sought voluntary retirement from service alleging that CBI officials were pressurising him to implicate the “Chief Minister” in the alleged wrongdoings that Kumar was accused of.

“The allegation of Kumar, which has incidentally come up after filing of the charge sheet, that witnesses and accused in this case were threatened by CBI officers to implicate a political functionary, is absolutely baseless and denied,” the CBI statement said.

It further said that “some accused who were arrested during the course of investigation had the opportunity to bring the alleged physical assault by the CBI when they were produced before the court”.

“But no such allegation was made at the relevant time, except one person, who also filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court, but had to withdraw the same after the court observed that he is trying to spoil the system and scaring away the probe agency.

“Making such baseless allegations at this moment, is only an attempt to influence the matter which is sub judice,” the CBI statement said.

A sombre Kumar told reporters outside his residence earlier on Thursday: “I tender my voluntary retirement (VRS) request to the government from the services.

“It was a very difficult decision and I have taken (it) with a very heavy heart… There are many other ways to work for public welfare and I will seek those.”

He said that despite coming from a very poor family, the government gave him an opportunity to study in a prestigious school and also let him serve in the government for 27 years. “I am obliged for that.”

A 1989-batch IAS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory cadre, Kumar was accused of abusing his official position in awarding Delhi government contracts worth Rs 9.5 crore to private firms during 2007-2014 when the Congress ruled Delhi.

“I will stay in the public service forever till my last breath that is my determination,” Kumar said. “And no hurdle can distract me.”

Asked if the CBI pressurised him to name Kejriwal in the case, Kumar said: “Whatever I have said is the exact truth and I stand by it.

“I have already written in my VRS the main aim of the government (whichever it may be) was to put pressure on me to incriminate certain people, including Chief Minister Kejriwal,” he added.

The allegations against Kumar were made by a former Delhi government official, Ashish Joshi, after he fell foul of the Kejriwal government that took office in February 2015.

Joshi had alleged that Kumar misused his position to award government contracts to private firms when he was with the departments of education, IT and Health.

Kumar was arrested on July 4, 2016.

The case hit national headlines after Kejriwal alleged that the CBI raided his office in December 2015. The CBI denied intruding into Kejriwal’s office and said it was looking for evidence against Kumar.

After remaining in custody for 23 days, Kumar was granted bail on July 26. He has consistently denied the accusations against him.

According to CBI officials, Kumar, as chairman of Delhi Transco Ltd, allegedly facilitated a contract worth Rs 40.16 lakh to Endeavour Systems to develop a comprehensive management information system in 2009, without going through any tendering process.

As Secretary in the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Delhi government, Kumar also allegedly awarded a Rs 2.43 crore manpower project to Endeavour Systems in November 2010.

Similar allegations were made against him in other areas as well.