Atishi initiates enquiry in alleged corruption case involving Chief Secy

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Atishi initiates enquiry in alleged corruption case involving Chief Secy
 
New Delhi:  A day after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sent a complaint alleging benefit of Rs 315 crore to the son of Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar in land acquisition on the Dwarka Expressway, Vigilance Minister Atishi initiated an enquiry in connection with the alleged corruption, sources said on Saturday.

The source said that Atishi wrote to the Director Vigilance and Divisional Commissioner regarding the alleged corruption involving Kumar.

The source said that the Vigilance Minister also requested for all files related to alleged corruption committed by the Chief Secretary by benefitting his son’s company by Rs 315 crore.

The source said that all files regarding the land acquisition in Bamnoli Village for the Dwarka Expressway to be submitted to Vigilance Minister by 7pm on Saturday and she also directed both departments that no files regarding this issue of alleged corruption are to be “passed through” the Chief Secretary since he’s the subject of enquiry.

The development comes a day after Kejriwal sent a complaint alleging benefit of Rs 315 crore to the son of the Delhi’s Chief Secretary in land acquisition on the Dwarka Expressway.

As per officials, the complaint was made to the Chief Minister regarding the alleged corruption involving Kumar on October 24.

“There are allegations on the Chief Secretary of benefitting his son’s company by Rs 315 crores,” a source said.

“There are allegations of irregularities in land acquisition on the Dwarka Expressway. The Chief Minister has sent the complaint to the Minister of Vigilance for a detailed enquiry in the matter,” an official said.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court has nullified an award of over Rs 300 crore issued by District Magistrate (DM) Hemant Kumar, who was suspended from his position, in a matter of compensation for land acquisition in Bamnoli village, southwest Delhi on Dwarka Expressway.

Kumar, a 2013-batch Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, had increased the compensation amount for a 19-acre land acquisition by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) from Rs 41.5 crore to Rs 353.8 crore during his tenure as the district magistrate of southwest Delhi.

The high court’s decision was based on the observation that the District Magistrate had made this award without giving the NHAI an opportunity to refute the additional documents submitted by the awardee, Subhash Chand Kathuria, a fact admitted by Kathuria’s counsel in court.

The court held that the award was issued in blatant violation of the principles of natural justice and contained patent illegalities.

The implementation of this award would have imposed an additional financial burden of Rs 312.3 crore on the government.

Notably, the DM had passed the award in May 2023 and sought endorsement from the Divisional Commissioner (DC). However, the DC, Ashwani Kumar, promptly highlighted the misconduct, describing the enhancement of compensation as a “gross blunder” that could have adverse consequences on planned urbanisation and development.

Following this, the Chief Secretary, Kumar, endorsed the DC’s views and directed an inquiry into the matter within a week by the Directorate of Vigilance. With the approval of Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor, V K Saxena, a CBI inquiry was recommended to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on September 20 along with departmental action against Kumar.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs referred the case to the CBI for investigation on October 20 and concurrently, Kumar was transferred to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on October 19. He was subsequently placed under suspension with immediate effect on October 20.


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