‘Competent authority’ suspends Kejriwal’s principal secretary after his arrest by CBI

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Rajendra Kumar, Principal Secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, was tonight suspended by the government following his arrest by CBI in connection with a corruption case.

Since Kumar was arrested on Monday and a day later a city court remanded him to CBI custody for five days, he was suspended by the competent authority, a Home Ministry official said.

Any government servant deemed to be automatically suspended 48 hours after his or her arrest in any case, the official said.

Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer of UT cadre, was called along with Tarun Sharma, a Deputy Secretary in Kejriwal’s office, besides three other private persons, for questioning at the CBI headquarters on Monday morning.

After being questioned for half a day, the CBI decided to place the two officers under arrest along with a close aide of Kumar, Ashok Kumar and owners of a private firm Sandeep Kumar and Dinesh Gupta.

The CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others in December last year alleging that the officer had abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders of Delhi government departments”.

The charges pressed by the CBI are under sections 120-B of IPC (criminal conspiracy), and 13(2), 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Criminal conspiracy, criminal misconduct etc) for allegedly favouring a private company –Endeavour Systems Pvt. Ltd.– in bagging five contracts.

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.

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