Challenging a notification by the Union home ministry restricting Delhi’s Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) from prosecuting Central government employees, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has told the agency to “receive and act upon any complaint of corruption in the national capital territory of Delhi”.
The order was discussed before a sessions court on Saturday following the arrest of a Delhi Police head constable by the ACB on charges of corruption.
The order, sources said, has formed the basis for the investigating agency to proceed against any act of corruption by any government department, including the Delhi Police.
According to sources in the Delhi government, the circular was issued by the Vigilance department on April 9. The circular states: “…The Anti Corruption Branch is directed to receive, investigate and act upon all such cases irrespective of which department or government the accused in such cases is working. This has approval of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Minister, Vigilance and Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia.”
Sources said the order has formed the basis of ACB’s role as an autonomous prosecuting agency investigating complaints of corruption. “The ACB has been formed to rein in acts of corruption by government officials. Therefore, if there is evidence, we will proceed against the official irrespective of which department he represents. In Saturday’s case too, we had evidence in the form of a recording and the head constable was caught red-handed accepting the bribe,” an ACB source said.
On Saturday, the ACB arrested head constable Anil, posted at the Sonia Vihar police station in northeast Delhi, following a complaint from a scrap dealer that he had been extorting money from him and threatening to arrest him in a false case if he didn’t pay up. The victim had reportedly given Rs 10,000 and was expected to give another Rs 10,000.
When Anil persisted, the victim recorded the conversation and lodged a complaint through the Anti-Corruption helpline 1031. A trap was laid and Anil was reportedly caught red-handed at Bhajanpura. Three constables and a sub-inspector managed to escape. Delhi Police then registered a case on behalf of Anil’s wife, claiming her husband had been “kidnapped”.
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