Delhi snooping case: CBI registers FIR against Manish Sisodia, others

CBI registers case against jailed AAP leader Manish Sisodia over alleged corruption in 'Delhi Feedback unit'

CBI registers case against jailed AAP leader Manish Sisodia over alleged corruption in 'Delhi Feedback unit'
CBI registers case against jailed AAP leader Manish Sisodia over alleged corruption in 'Delhi Feedback unit'

Fresh trouble for Manish Sisodia in Delhi snooping case

On Thursday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed FIR against Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and others in connection with a ‘snooping case‘ related to the ruling AAP’s (AAP) alleged ‘Feedback Unit (FBU)’. The FIR was lodged against Sisodia and others on March 14 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The FIR reads that they got a complaint in this respect from the L-G office. After this, a preliminary enquiry (PE) was registered.

“That creation of a Feedback Unit (FBU) was approved vide a Cabinet Decision on September 29, 2015, which was taken on the basis of a ‘Tabled Item’ with the approval of the Chief Minister of Delhi. The mandate of the FBU was to collect relevant information and actionable feedback regarding the working of various departments/ autonomous bodies/ institutions/ entities in the jurisdiction of GNCTD and to conduct trap cases,” the PE revealed.

It further stated, “Secretary (Vigilance) was directed to submit a detailed proposal for setting up of FBU. The posts being created for the FBU were proposed to be initially manned by serving as well as retired personnel. The Secretary (Vigilance) submitted a detailed proposal for setting up the FBU, which was approved by the CM. As per the approval of the Chief Minister, the FBU was to report to the Secretary (Vigilance).

Sukesh Jain, the Secretary (Vigilance) deliberately and willfully avoided referring the matter of the creation of 20 posts in FBU to the Administrative Reforms Department for concurrence at any stage up to filling up of these posts.

“On a proposal of Sukesh Jain, the Deputy CM Manish Sisodia approved on January 25, 2018, that 20 posts in FBU be adjusted against 88 posts created in the Anti-Corruption Branch. These 88 posts were created in 2015. Further, the proposal for the creation of these 88 posts had not been sent for approval of the competent authority, i.e., the Hon’ble LG of Delhi,” the PE read.

It said that these posts had not been notified, and no ‘Recruitment Rules’ for the posts to be created by FBU were framed. Yet, 17 posts in FBU were filled up by the appointment of personnel on a contract basis for which administrative approval for expenditure of Rs.20,59,474 for operationalization of FBU was sought from the account head of the charges’ of the Finance Department.

“This constitutes an act of illegal diversion. No approval of competent authority was taken to appoint retired personnel in FBU. Hence these appointments were null and void since inception, as they were not only in violation of rules, guidelines, and constitutional provisions,” the PE read.

The FIR stated that the FBU started functioning in February 2016. Apart from other paraphernalia, a provision of Rs.1 crore was kept for Secret Service Expenditure for the year 2016-17, out of which Rs.10 lakh was disbursed to the FBU in two installments of Rs.5 lakh each on June 7, 2016, and June 13, 2016, respectively. Out of this, Rs.5.5 lakh had been shown to be spent by the FBU.

Payments were made in two installments from the SS Fund to one Silver Shield Detectives (Rs.1.5 lakh) and W.W. Security (Rs.60,000/-) on June 8, 2016, immediately the next day of the release of SSF to Satish Khetrapal, who was maintaining the SS Fund.

“However, during enquiry it has been revealed that the vouchers in lieu of disbursing the payments have been found to be false. The owners of both the said firms denied doing any work for GNCTD or FBU and denied receiving any such payment. They also stated that the vouchers made in the name of their firms are fabricated. The SSF and its vouchers were physically in control of Satish Khetrapal, the Feedback Officer,” the FIR read.

Out of the said SS Fund, an amount of Rs.50,000 was stated to have been issued to one Kailash Chand, a UDC in ACB, to catch the management of Kalka Public School while taking donations from a prospective parent.

“The enquiry has thus revealed that the FBU was willfully created, staffed, funded, and incentivized out of public exchequer in an irregular manner by Sisodia and Sukesh Jain, the then Secretary Vigilance, along with K Sinha, (Retired DIG, CISF), working as Special Advisor to the CM and Joint Director, FBU, GNCTD, and P K Punj, (Retired Jt. Deputy Director, IB), working as Deputy Director, FBU, GNCTD in violation of rules and regulations and without mandatory approvals, by abuse of their official position and with a dishonest intention to utilize the FBU for purposes other than those for which it was manifestly created.

According to the FIR, FBU officers R K Sinha, P K Punj, and Satish Khetrapal along with Gopal Mohan (Advisor to Chief Minister) were involved in siphoning off funds from the Secret Service Fund and used the staff of FBU for gathering political intelligence.

[With Inputs from IANS]

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