In what is set to be another punch in the contest between Delhi Police and the Delhi government, a retired police inspector on Thursday filed a complaint against newly-appointed ACB chief M K Meena, accusing him of corruption while he was in charge of the Police Training College in 2005. The complaint has asked for Meena to be removed so that a “fair and impartial investigation can be conducted”.
Hours after the complaint was filed, an extra layer of Delhi police security has been provided to Meena’s office. According to the complaint, Joint Commissioner of Police Meena illegally purchased curtains and curtain rods for the institution at inflated prices, which was then deemed worthy of “disciplinary action” by several senior police officers.
The complaint says that no action was taken because incorrect information was relayed to Delhi chief secretary in 2011. But Delhi Police reacted sharply on Thursday and said the intention was to “tarnish (Meena’s) image by raking up old issues”.
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With the case likely to be referred to the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), it will further intensify what has been a pitched battle for supremacy between the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Delhi Police and the Lt-Governor on one side and Delhi government on the other.
In the complaint addressed to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, retired inspector Jawahar Lal, who was posted with the Police Training College in 2005, said in his capacity as Principal of the college that year, Meena “arbitrarily caused to be procured curtain and curtain rods, totalling approximately Rs 20 lakh, though there are no documents on record on the basis of which a demand was projected”.
Lal alleges several deviations from established procedures such as the “splitting of purchase orders to fall within the competency”, “bogus bills without a TIN number” as well as inflation of costs.
While an inquiry report found that the price of curtains that were bought was between Rs 50 and 75 per metre, they were bought at a uniform price of 590 per metre.
It goes on to say: “As per rules in office procedure, no head of office can accord the sanction on the notes which do not have the signatures of all the officers concerned, but with some ulterior motive, Meena accorded sanction on the notes which do not have signatures of Insp/Admn and ACP/HQ.”
The complaint claims that a host of senior police officers spoke against the “illegal purchases”. Then commissioner of police K K Paul observed in 2006 that “all concerned in this racket need to be shifted to NSU and formally proceeded against”.
The subsequent police commissioner noted that “disciplinary action will also be taken against Meena, now posted as Additional CP/Security” in January 2008.
Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson for Delhi Police said, “These allegations are more than a decade old and have already been probed in great detail. The report has shown that the allegations were not proven. After analysing the report, both Delhi Police and the MHA accepted the report and have filed the complaint of allegation. This act is to tarnish (Meena’s) image by raking up old, dead issues for personal vendetta.”
Delhi government officials said the complaint would soon be forwarded to the ACB, and had thus far been sent to the Vigilance department.