CNG fitness ‘scam’: ACB seeks legal opinion on naming Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s ex-secretary

In 2002, Delhi government ordered fitness tests on public transport vehicles using CNG, and hired ESP USA as consultant, but another firm, ‘ESP India Pvt Ltd’, was awarded the tender, allegedly with the collusion of officials, even before the company had been registered.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Published:October 2, 2016 3:09 am
Rajendra Kumar (right). Rajendra Kumar (right).

The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government has sought legal opinion on whether Rajendra Kumar, former principal secretary to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, can be named in its supplementary chargesheet in the 2002 CNG fitness scam case, said sources.

The first chargesheet in the Rs 100-crore ‘scam’ was filed in September last year.

The chargesheet, likely to be filed soon, is likely to name Kumar as he allegedly didn’t take any action on the ‘scam’ even after the ACB submitted its report in 2012 when he was the transport commissioner, said sources. ACB chief, Special Commissioner of Police M K Meena, has directed ACP Mahendra Pal, the investigating officer, to submit the supplementary chargesheet soon, said sources.

“After an investigation proved Kumar’s role in the scam, the ACB has sought legal opinion on whether he can be named in the chargesheet… senior officers are also discussing this matter with higher authorities,” said an ACB official. Despite repeated attempts, Meena was not available for comment.

Sources told The Indian Express that Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer, was questioned by a team headed by the ACB chief in September and October last year.

“During questioning, Kumar denied any involvement with the alleged scam. He was given a questionnaire with nearly 100 questions on the 2002 CNG fitness scam… He could not give a satisfactory answer on why no action was taken when the ACB submitted its report on the scam in 2012,” said sources.

“Recently, the ACB sent a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs to seek its sanction before naming an IAS officer in their supplementary chargesheet, but it is yet to receive a response from the MHA,” said sources.

Apart from Kumar, the supplementary chargesheet may also name other serving and retired IAS officers, including two former chief secretaries, as well as motor licence officers and inspectors with the transport department. …In the supplementary chargesheet, the investigating officer is likely to mention 12 persons as accused,” said sources.

The first chargesheet in the case had mentioned former transport commissioners R K Verma and R Chandramohan. It had also mentioned retired deputy commissioners (transport) Joginder Singh, Ashok Gupta, V K Gupta and M A Usmani.