The escalating war between the Centre and the AAP government took a new turn with the CBI raids at Delhi secretary at on Tuesday –but the worst hit in the months-old political crossfire has been the Delhi bureaucracy –more with allegations of the state anti-corruption branch (ACB) going on an investigation overdrive on officials placed with the Delhi government.According to sources, the situation has worsened in the last two months, with the Mukesh Meena-led ACB aggressively digging out age-old complaints against government officials, allegedly putting hundreds of other corruption complaints on the back burner.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A senior government official claimed the Delhi-government’s anti-corruption helpline 1031 has forwarded more than 500 corruption complaints against Delhi as well as central government officials to the anti-graft body after carrying out preliminary investigations on them.“None of those complaints have been acted upon so far. The ACB has decided to investigate complaints only against Delhi government officials, that too those which it has received independently,” the official told dna.“They didn’t even register an FIR against a DDA (Delhi Development Authority) employee who was caught red-handed accepting bribe by our Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM),” the official said. DDA functions under the central government.The ACB’s alleged ‘selective’ investigation also resonates with a memo issued by lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung in September this year, where the bureaucrats of Delhi government were advised not to follow any ‘illegal orders’ of the Delhi government. The memo also warned the officials of disciplinary action if they chose to follow such orders of the government.The situation has now demoralised many Delhi government officials, many of whom fear they might be targeted just for working with the Kejriwal government.Sources say some are even contemplating seeking transfers elsewhere from the central government, to save themselves of uncalled troubles.An example is that of a case registered against the state’s principal secretary Chetan B Sanghi and other officials for converting 350 industrial sheds from leasehold to freehold in 2011-12, when he was heading the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (DSIIDC) – a step which has been taken both by those heading DSIIDC before and after Sanghi.The case was registered weeks after Sanghi submitted a probe report on the alleged complaints of irregularities in Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA), on which the Delhi government was to set up a commission of inquiry, Kejriwal had revealed on Tuesday.While Sanghi has gone on a long leave and was not available for comments, another official said there is not much they can do if they are scheduled to be the next in the line of fire.“If they (ACB) choose to take up an empty case like that of the DSIIDC, they can slap any charge on us out of vindictiveness,” an official said.Similarly, secretary to CM Rajender Kumar who faced a lot of mud-slinging on Tuesday following the CBI raids in his office, was first interrogated by the ACB. He is also facing ACB investigations on a separate Rs100 crore CNG scam that took place during the Sheila Dixit regime. While the charges against him are yet to be proved by CBI, Kumar is still under the ACB net and has faced multiple interrogation sessions in the last few months. The anti-corruption branch is also probing deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, and has sent a notice to the government’s directorate of information and publicity (DIP) department for allegedly giving contracts of government advertisements to his relatives. A few officers from the department were interrogated by the ACB on Thursday.The anti-graft body has also initiated inquiries on an alleged scam regarding the procurement and disbursing of onions at a subsidised rate.Above all, ACB chief Meena had also ordered a probe into the helpline management of the AAP government’s anti-corruption helpline 1031 and an inquiry against the officials involved in setting it up.Talking to dna, an official from ACB said, “We are investigating the cases against Sanghi, Kumar and others and their details can’t be revealed as of now,” said an official. Meena remained unavailable for dna’s queries despite repeated calls and messages sent to him.A joint commissioner-ranked IPS officer, Meena was appointed in June this year by Jung against AAP government’s wishes. This was a first time that a joint commissioner ranked official was put at the helm of the anti-graft body; the post had earlier been occupied by an additional commissioner-ranked official since the start of the ACB.AAP had claimed that following the Delhi High Court’s order that allowed ACB to also act on corruption complaints against central government officials, the Centre had ‘taken over’ ACB from the Delhi government. However, the battle over the control of the anti-graft body continues.
State ACB goes on probe overdrive on Delhi government officials
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