The AAP Sunday attacked Delhi chief secretary Anshu Prakash and accused him of “distortion of facts” in a petition challenging a breach of privilege notice. Prakash was served the notice for non-appearance before the Question and Reference Committee of the Delhi Assembly, which is examining the alleged Rs 100 crore scam in the Delhi Nagrik Sehkari Bank.
The bank comes under the purview of the Delhi government’s Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS). In 2013, members of the bank had filed a complaint to the RCS and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) alleging fraudulent loans, leading to rising NPAs in connivance with the directors.
A probe by the RBI confirmed fraudulent loans in the Lajpat Nagar branch of the bank. The Question and Reference Committee began hearing the matter after a question asked by an MLA led to a reply that it deemed “incomplete and unsatisfactory”. On Sunday, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged, “The Committee is shocked to find distortion of facts by the current chief secretary in his latest petition filed in the Delhi High Court challenging a breach of privilege notice served on him.”
While Prakash could not be contacted, his counsel Vivek Chib said, “The matter will be presented in court on Monday.” Sources in Prakash’s office claimed, “The breach of privilege notice was served without a copy of the complaint.” This comes at a time when Prakash is at the heart of a tussle between the bureaucrats and the AAP government over the alleged attack on him by AAP MLAs at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on the intervening night of February 19-20.
On February 21, after Prakash filed an FIR in the case, he was served a notice summoning him to the committee. Prakash first said he couldn’t attend it due to a meeting at the PMO. When the committee asked him to appear at 5pm, Prakash cited health reasons and didn’t attend. Another notice was sent to him on February 23. On March 1, Prakash was summoned to appear before the Committee of Privileges on March 5.
“It is shocking that when he (Prakash) has been sought about how the officers concerned will recover the loans, he is trying to divert attention from the scam… Further, the current and former RCS are stating that since they have referred the case to the chief secretary, they can’t attend the meetings unless directed by him. It is clear that he (Prakash) is using the police complaint as a shield…” Bhardwaj alleged.
Last year, after the committee asked former chief secretary M M Kutty to write “adverse remarks” in the annual confidential report of the Regitrar of the RCS, he had approached the High Court and described his situation as being “caught between the devil and the deep sea.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines