In 353 Crore Corruption Case, Arvind Kejriwal Sends Report To Lt Governor

New Delhi, Nov 15 (Agency) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has sent a report alleging “prima facie” proof of corruption by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, the senior-most civil servant posted to the Delhi government, to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, government sources said Wednesday morning. Mr Kejriwal has also sent the report – which recommends Mr Kumar be removed from his post and suspended from further posting pending an inquiry – to the CBI and Enforcement Directorate.

Mr Kumar was accused last week of manipulating a land acquisition deal involving the National Highways Authority to ensure a profit of 313 crore to a company linked to his son. The Chief Minister’s office had sought a detailed report on these allegations from his Vigilance Minister, Atishi. That report – 670 pages long – was submitted Tuesday and, this morning, forwarded to Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and investigative agencies that report to the BJP-led centre.It claims the deal could have involved a windfall gain of 897 crore for the stakeholders.The report also recommends Divisional Commissioner Ashwani Kumar be removed from his post. The Chief Secretary has not reacted so far, but the Divisional Commissioner came out strongly in the former’s support this week. On Friday, Naresh Kumar called the allegations an attempt at “mud-slinging” by “disgruntled elements” themselves facing corruption charges. Last week Mr Kejriwal’s office forwarded a complaint from a lawyer – whose identity has been hidden – relating to the sale of a 19-acre plot of land in Delhi’s southwest.The land was bought in 2018 by the NHAI for the construction of the Dwarka Expressway.The original sale price of 41.52 crore was decided by the then district administration.

This was raised to 353.79 crore by Hemant Kumar, the then South West Delhi district magistrate. Mr Kumar was later suspended and his order set aside. The landowner who was to get the higher price – Subhash Chand Kathuria – is related to one Aman Sarin, the promoter of Anant Raaj Ltd, and has alleged links to the Delhi Chief Secretary’s son.This latest corruption row comes as the AAP is locked in a battle with the BJP, which controls the centre and – thanks to the Delhi Services Bill – transfer of bureaucrats and employees in the city.It also comes as Mr Kejriwal and his AAP face a combined CBI-ED probe in the Delhi liquor policy case. Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has been arrested in connection with this case, as has top leader Sanjay Singh. Mr Kejriwal was summoned for questioning but skipped the call. The CBI may probe “conspiracy” angles; i.e., “vested interests, including public authorities” who may be looking to malign the Chief Secretary’s image, government sources told PTI. The vigilance minister, in her report, has also recommended that a reference be made to the ED for the likelihood of money laundering in the land purchase by its current owners in 2015 and subsequent “illegal compensation” awarded in 2023 for its acquisition.