Files on excise case, Delhi CM house renovation
Image Source : PTI Files on excise case, Delhi CM house renovation ‘destroyed’: Alleges officer removed by Kejriwal govt

Delhi: An officer who was divested of his duties by the Delhi government alleged that his office room was “searched” late Monday night. In a detailed report to the Lieutenant Governor’s officer, Special Secretary (Vigilance) YVVJ Rajshekhar expressed appreciation that “sensitive” files related to the executive policy and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence renovation might be destroyed or tampered with. He also presented the report before the joint secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the additional commissioner of police of Delhi’s anti-corruption branch.

AAP government called him “a thoroughly corrupt officer”

Earlier in a statement, the AAP government called him “a thoroughly corrupt officer” and questioned his interest in keeping some files with him despite an order being issued for the withdrawal of work from him on May 13. “Regarding his allegation that someone tried to break into his office at night, the government will get it thoroughly investigated whether it is true or not. If true, strict action will be taken,” it added.

Major administrative reshuffle in Delhi

The AAP dispensation and a section of bureaucrats are engaged in a tussle since the government announced a major administrative reshuffle after the Supreme Court gave it control over the transfer and posting of officers. Citing complaints against Rajshekhar for allegedly running an extortion racket and demanding protection money, Delhi Vigilance Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on May 13 ordered the withdrawal of all work assigned to the officers with immediate effect.

Sources said the vigilance officer was probing the alleged Delhi liquor scam and alleged corruption in the renovation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence. He is also probing the demolition of a heritage monument by a former CEO of Delhi Jal Board to construct a sprawling bungalow for himself.

Officer was “prevented from performing his duties”

In a reply to his superiors on May 15, Rajshekhar had said he was being “prevented from performing his duties” and considered “serious threat and diversion of records” pertaining to sensitive matters such as the exercise policy and the chief minister’s residence renovation. He also requested that the matter be taken to the High Court for a stay.

Rooms might have been bugged

In his latest report to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena’s office, he said he had “serious understanding that our rooms might have been bugged and there is every possibility of breach of secrecy, tampering of records, fabrication of records, etc.” He claimed that his office room at the Delhi Secretariat was searched late Monday night.

After he received instructions from Bharadwaj on May 15, the officer said, he sent 76 files that were with him in the “Confidential” section to the Secretary (Vigilance) “without examining these 76 files, merely recording the instructions of the Hon’ble Minister where he directed the undersigned not to examine the files”.

However, 12 files that were “more sensitive”, some of them relating to the execution policy and the renovation of the chief minister’s residence were not sent, but kept in custody, he said. “It is not recommended to transfer or send the files either photocopies or otherwise to the Hon’ble Minister as per ‘principle of arm’s length’. We need to carefully examine before taking a view with reference to the verbal directions of the Hon’ble minister,” the report stated.

Officials were summoned to open his room

Rajshekhar said that he received a call from an officer around 9.14 PM on Monday informing him that officials had been summoned to open his room for a collection of records. “The undersigned seriously objected to the such call for taking away the records as per the alleged instructions of the Hon’ble Minister (Vigilance) at midnight and strongly objected not to indulge in such act.”

“It is a serious lapse in the present scenario”

“However, it is understood from preliminary inquiry that…MTS (a multi tasking staff) has opened the room…and allegedly photocopied all the records ie from 15 May 2023 evening to 16th May 2023 till 3 AM. The undersigned is not sure whether any record/file was taken away or otherwise tampered with it or photocopied. It is a serious lapse in the present scenario,” Rajshekhar wrote in his report.

“Records will be destroyed or might have been destroyed”

“The undersigned is apprehensive that the records will be destroyed or might have been destroyed in due course of time,” he said.

He requested senior officers for appropriate action at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the AAP government called him the “Wankhede of Delhi Vigilance Department”, referring to former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede who is currently under investigation by the CBI. “He is a thoroughly corrupt officer…. How was he posted in vigilance in the first place by LG needs to be investigated. He was one of the prime accused in CNG kit scam and CBI had recommended disciplinary action against him. Several complaints have received against him from several people and several officers that he demands protection money,” it alleged.

“If the work has been officially withdrawn from him on Saturday, how is he still in possession of all files?…What is his interest in keeping some files despite him being removed from that work?” the AAP government asked.

(with inputs from PTI)