Published On : Fri, Jan 29th, 2016

Raid on Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary: CBI probe under special court’s scanner

NewDelhi/Nagpur: CBI’s investigation in an alleged corruption case involving Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s principal secretary Rajendra Kumar has come under the scanner of a special court which said the agency has “utterly failed” to comply with the mandatory CrPC provision in its probe.

The court also said that it was not informed by the agency about the freezing of bank accounts of a company and CBI had admitted it after one month in its reply filed on a plea by the firm, M/s Laxmi Enterprises, seeking de freezing of three bank accounts. Proprietor of M/s Laxmi Enterprises, Dinesh Kumar Gupta, is also the Director of M/s Endeavour System Pvt Ltd (ESPL), a firm which is under probe by CBI in the graft case allegedly involving Kumar.

Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Jain also observed that till date, the agency is unable to show even prima facie that the frozen bank accounts of the firm have any direct links with the commission of alleged crime.

“Furthermore, there appears to be no compliance of section 102(3) CrPC by CBI in present case. As per the mandate of this section, every police officer acting under sub section (3) shall forthwith report the seizure or attachment of accounts to the magistrate having jurisdiction,” the judge noted. “From the record, it is clear that after freezing the account on December 18, 2015, CBI has not informed this court … CBI first time admitted freezing of the bank account of the applicant firm in its reply dated January 18, 2016 to this application,” the court said in its order.

“It is surprising that with this application also the CBI has not annexed the letter which it had written to the bank for freezing of account of the applicant firm. CBI does not find it at all necessary to inform the court about the freezing of the present accounts,” it said, adding, “The CBI, in present case, utterly failed to comply the requirements of sub section (3) of 102 CrPC.” Section 102 of CrPC pertains to power of police officer to seize certain property during the probe. It directed the bank, where these accounts are maintained by the company, to de freeze these three accounts subject to furnishing of a bond of Rs one crore along with the requisite security documents to the satisfaction of the court.

It also asked the proprietor of firm to join the probe as and when required by the CBI. Earlier on January 20, the CBI was directed by the court to return the documents sought by the Delhi government seized during the December 15 last year raids. In its order, the court noted that language of section 102 of the CrPC “is very clear and it is clearly an exhaustive provision as it should be.

Otherwise, the provision would be arbitrary and unconnected to the offence and would be liable to be misused for ulterior purposes.”

“This itself suggests that the property seized must have clear connection with the commission of offence. It cannot be seized on the whims and fancies of the investigating officer and his unfounded apprehension that if the account is not seized then the amount could be withdrawn,” the court said. In its plea, M/s Laxmi Enterprises alleged that during the probe, Gupta had explained each and every entry available in the bank accounts reflecting the inflow of funds as well as outflow of funds.

In its reply, CBI had alleged that during the probe it was found that M/s Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd had received huge amounts from various government departments of NCT of Delhi on various occasions. In its order, the court held that M/s Laxmi Enterprises had admittedly not received any payment or benefit from any of the department under investigation.

“Mere transactions between the applicant firm and ESPL company cannot be held incriminating if investigating agency is not able to show that ESPL tried to siphon off the money through the applicant firm,” it said. CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others on the allegations that he had abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments”.

The case was lodged for alleged offences under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.