Seeking voluntary retirement from service less than a month after he was chargesheeted by the CBI in a case of alleged corruption, IAS officer Rajendra Kumar, who was Principal Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the time of his arrest in July last year, has alleged he was repeatedly told by his interrogators that they would set him free if he implicated the Chief Minister.
In a letter to the Delhi Chief Secretary on Wednesday, Kumar, a 1989 batch officer, wrote: “I have been made to pay the price for my belief in the political neutrality of a civil service officer in the form of false cases against me, accusing me of corruption and other charges… during the last few months, I have experienced an administrative environment wherein it seems extremely difficult to secure fair treatment and justice from central government agencies.”
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Referring to the CBI investigation in the case against him, Kumar alleged: “During interrogation, I was repeatedly told that I would be let free if I implicate Chief Minister of Delhi. May be this was the reason for the CBI to go to such extraordinary length.”
“I can only say that the criminal physical abuse and the atrocities perpetrated and the words and language used against many people in my case were much worse than what was experienced and written by Mr Bansal,” he alleged, referring to the case of B K Bansal, former Director General in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs who along with his family committed suicide last year, alleging harassment by the CBI.
When The Indian Express sought the probe agency’s comments, a CBI spokesperson said: “We have not seen the contents of the letter. It would not be appropriate to comment. Also, the matter is sub judice.” Sources in the CBI maintained that the question of implicating the Delhi Chief Minister did not arise since the offence had taken place before the Kejriwal government came to power.
Kumar’s lawyer Rahul Tyagi, who confirmed that the officer had sent a letter seeking voluntary retirement, said: “The allegations against him are baseless and he has decided to resign out of disgust.” Procedurally, Kumar’s letter will be forwarded by the Chief Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs and then to the Department of Personnel and Training, Tyagi said.
In his letter, Kumar said his father, a police sub-inspector, raised five children on a meagre pension and had it not been for the government’s welfare schemes, he, coming from a poor family, would not have made it this far. He said he had chosen his career in the civil services to “give back to the society.”
“I will continue to survive… follow my way of dedication to public service. Being and working in the government is not the only way to serve people, there are many other ways,” Kumar wrote.
Kumar was yet to decide on a future course of action but NGOs, Tyagi said, could also work for society. Asked if politics was on the cards, Tyagi said, “At this stage, all options are open.”
Last month, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Kumar, citing statements, including that of an approver, documentary evidence and an audio clip. He has been charged with alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the IPC, besides provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, along with eight others and a private company.
The CBI alleged that Kumar and the others entered into a criminal conspiracy and caused a loss of Rs 12 crore to the Delhi government in award of contracts between 2007 and 2015. Its FIR also claimed that officials had taken “undue benefit” of over Rs 3 crore while awarding the contracts.