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Letter war over new ACB man

The row began with an order issued on June 8 by Deputy Secretary (Home) Alok Garg.

Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi |
June 10, 2015 2:31:27 am
delhi ACB, ACB controversy, Mukesh Kumar Meena, ACB, Najeeb Jung, Parent cadre, delhi news, city news, local news, Indian Express M K Meena in his office on Tuesday. (Source: Express Photo by Shalini Narayan)

The new Joint Commissioner of Police (Anti-Corruption Branch), Mukesh Kumar Meena, began his first day at work with the Delhi government’s Vigilance Branch asking him to return to his parent cadre of Delhi. This has added a new chapter to the controversy, fuelled by a furious exchange of letters between the Delhi government, Meena and Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung.

In his response, Meena has threatened “legal action as per law” and has requested the Delhi government to refrain from “interfering in the working of the Anti-Corruption Branch”.

The row began with an order issued on June 8 by Deputy Secretary (Home) Alok Garg appointing Meena the Joint Commissioner of Police (ACB) at the behest of the Lt-Governor. Sources said neither the Delhi chief minister nor the chief secretary’s office was informed while the order was being issued.

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Sources said Meena took charge on Monday evening itself when he arrived at the ACB’s office at Vikas Bhawan, Civil Lines. On Tuesday, he assumed office on the fifth floor. Sources said Meena held a meeting with the staff of the ACB where he spoke to each staff member and issued directions about “obeying the law” and “not fearing any political party or succumbing to any pressure”.

However, as the office and his operator were just about settling in, an order was issued by Secretary and Director (Vigilance) Sukesh Kumar Jain, asking Meena to return to the Delhi Police. “There is no sanctioned post (of Joint CP rank) in the ACB” was the reason given.

The order, directly addressed to Meena, stated: “Please refer to your joining report dated June 8, 2015, assuming charge of Joint CP (ACB). In this regard, I am directed to inform you that there is only one post of Additional Commissioner of Police in ACB of GNCTD, which is presently occupied. As there is no such sanctioned post, you cannot take charge or hold a non-existent post. I am, therefore, directed to ask you to revert to the Delhi Police.”

Incidentally, the Delhi government rules follow a January 6, 1984, order, which has appointed the director of vigilance as the “ex-officio joint commissioner of police of the ACB”. Delhi government sources said the order has been referred to periodically after and that the order still stands valid.

However, Meena began drafting a letter in response to Jain’s letter. The letter sent later in the evening states: “I am to state that I have already taken over the charge of Joint Commissioner of Police, Anti-Corruption Branch, on June 8, 2015. You are further informed that the Anti-Corruption Branch is a notified police station. Such references undermine the authority of ACB. Hence, it is a kind of interference in the working of a notified police station. I am again informing you that I am continuing as head of Anti-Corruption Branch and any such reference regarding charge is to be addressed to the Lt-Governor, Delhi.”

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