Court slams CBI over raid in Kejriwal’s office: No divine powers, give back seized papers

The court was disposing of an application filed by the Delhi government seeking release of some of the documents seized by the agency during its raid on December 15 last year.

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | New Delhi | Updated: January 21, 2016 10:07 am
delhi, delhi govt, arvind kejriwal, kejriwal, delhi principal secy, delhi cm, delhi cm office raid, kejriwal office raid, delhi news, india news CBI had raided office of Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar on December 15, 2015, during which entry of officials and staff were banned on the third floor from where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal runs his government. (Express Photo)

Stating that the CBI “cannot be clothed with divine powers”, a special court Wednesday directed the probe agency to return the “original” documents seized by it during a raid conducted at the office of Rajendra Kumar, Principal Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Special Judge Ajay Kumar Jain said the CBI “cannot retain the documents in the garb of the argument” that “investigation is in progress without whispering…in what manner they are related to the present case”.

Later in the day, Kejriwal tweeted, “After today’s CBI court order directing release of docs seized from CMO, PMO owes an explanation to the nation since CBI reports to PM.”

The court also said it seemed like proceedings against Kumar had been initiated “in haste”. “There appears (to be) a deviation in the present case as CBI, without conducting preliminary inquiry, straight away registered the regular case on oral information,” said Jain.

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“In (a) scenario when the public servant, while discharging his official duty, misuses power and when there is no direct allegation of pecuniary advantage, then some sort of preliminary inquiry is required. However, in the present case, the FIR is registered on oral information, thus proceedings initiated by the CBI appear to be in haste.”

“The acceptance of vague reasons like investigation is still in progress implies the CBI is recognised with unbridled power to investigate even in violation of relevant laws and regulations. The seizure of the present documents in question is in utter violation of the CBI manual,” he added.

“This court has all the powers to refrain the CBI from abusing its authority during the search. Using of that power by court cannot be held to be interference in the investigation… Any recognition of absolute immunity and unlimited powers will be tantamount to recognition of ‘divine power’ which no authority on earth can enjoy. The CBI cannot be clothed with divine powers,” Jain said.

The CBI had raided Kumar’s office on December 15 last year. During the raid, entry of officials and staff was banned on the third floor of the Delhi Secretariat, from where Kejriwal runs his government.

Following the raids, the CM had claimed, “It has become necessary to reveal that why did the CBI come to my office today and which was the file they were looking for. Yeh file hai DDCA ka file jiske andar Arun Jaitley phas rahe hain (This is the DDCA file under which Arun Jaitley is getting trapped).”