A Delhi court on Thursday asked the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) to maintain maximum vigil with regard to safety of a man who had filed a complaint against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others for alleged irregularities in grant of contracts for roads and sewer lines here. “Maintain maximum vigil in his case,” Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Kumar Rampuri said and posted the matter for further hearing on June 23.
The court’s response came after the agency filed a status report saying there is no threat to the life of complainant Rahul Sharma. The court had on June 2 directed the additional commissioner of the ACB to assess the threat perception with regard to Sharma once again after he submitted that on May 30 two unidentified persons on a motorcycle fired gun shots at him when he was travelling in his car along with a cousin.
“There is no threat to the life of Sharma or his relatives in Gautam Budh Nagar, Noida” the report filed by the Senior Superintendent of Police of the area said. Advocate V K Anand, the counsel for Sharma, also filed a fresh plea seeking a status report on the three separate FIRs which were registered by the agency on its own on May 8 in relation to the alleged irregularities in granting contracts.
The court had earlier also directed the probe agency to assess the threat perception and the ACB had concluded that there was no threat at that time. The magistrate had said that witness protection was a serious issue, not only in this case but in general.
The court was hearing a complaint filed by Sharma, founder of Roads Anti-Corruption Organisation (RACO), seeking a direction to the police to lodge an FIR against Kejriwal, his brother-in-law Surender Bansal, proprietor of a construction firm, and a public servant for alleged irregularities in the grant of contracts for roads and sewer lines in Delhi. Bansal died last month.
However, the court said it would also decide on the next date of hearing as to whether it has jurisdiction to continue with the matter as the FIR has already been lodged by the ACB under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Cases pertaining to the ACB and under the Prevention of Corruption Act are tried by a special court. The complaint has alleged “deep-rooted corruption” and that no material was actually purchased for executing the projects.
It has alleged that documents showing purchase of material were “concocted and forged”, and a loss of over Rs 10 crore had been caused to the public exchequer. The complainant has alleged that Bansal operated through several dummy firms to obtain government contracts with the connivance of several senior PWD officials.
These contracts never got executed “whereas shockingly all the payments were cleared under pressure from Kejriwal”, he has alleged.