NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar and four others, arrested in an alleged corruption case, were on Tuesday remanded to five days CBI custody by a special court which was told by the agency that the IAS officer was “intimidating” witnesses.
Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar sent Kumar, Deputy Secretary in Kejriwal’s office Tarun Sharma, Kumar’s close aide Ashok Kumar and owners of a private firm, Sandeep Kumar and Dinesh Gupta, to CBI custody. During the hearing, CBI sought 10 days custodial interrogation of the accused, claiming that Rajendra Kumar was an influential person and it was impossible to conduct a fair probe in the matter without arresting him as he was intimidating witnesses.
“He is an influential and highly placed bureaucrat. We cannot have a fair investigation without arresting him as he was in-timidating witnesses,” the CBI prosecutor told the court. At this juncture, the judge asked “is there any incident of intimidating witnesses?”
The agency countered the arguments advanced by the defence counsel and said the probe into the case was going on and some evidence has surfaced which may lead to offences of forgery and cheating as well. The court after hearing the arguments said it will pronounce its order on CBI’s plea seeking 10 days remand of the accused later in the day.
At the fag end of the hearing, accused Dinesh Gupta told the judge, “I am being pressurised to become an approver and I have been threatened by CBI.” The five accused were arrested in connection with a case of showing undue favours to a private company in award of government contracts worth over Rs 50 crore.
The CBI alleged that the accused persons had 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, and claimed that the officials had taken “undue benefit” of over Rs three crore while awarding the contract.