Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Monday served a legal notice on AAP and five of its leaders — Sanjay Singh, Atishi, Durgesh Pathak, Saurabh Bhardwaj and Jasmine Shah — for levelling “false, derogatory and malicious allegations” against him.
The notice stated that the accusation by AAP — about a purported ₹1,400 crore scam by Mr. Saxena during his stint as the Chairperson of Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) — was “a figment of fantastical imagination and mathematical impossibility”.
The notice quoted figures from the Annual Report of the KVIC for the year 2016-17.
The total sale of Khadi products across the country during 2016-17 was ₹2,146.60 crore, it stated. It also contended that there were only seven Departmental Store Outlets (DSOs) of KVIC, which did a business of ₹173.58 crore, during 2016-17; while the remaining sales were done through independent Khadi Institution stores and franchisees.
“Since the period under demonetisation was from 9.11.2016 to 31.12.2016, therefore on a pro-rata basis, retail sales worth approximately ₹14.43 crore (actual may vary) took place through these seven DSOs during the period,” the notice also stated.
AAP and its leaders indulged in a “scandalous smear campaign” against Mr. Saxena, the notice stated, with the aim of “deflecting and diverting attention” from the “gross failure of the AAP government in Delhi”, in relation to the recently unearthed “Excise and Classroom scam.”
The smear campaign was also motivated by the “appreciation gained” by Mr. Saxena for the “extraordinary work done by him in the past three months as the L-G”, the notice also stated.
The notice asked AAP to issue a press release directing all its members to “cease and desist from spreading and circulating false, defamatory, malicious and unsubstantiated statements” against Mr. Saxena within two days.
‘Don’t tolerate corruption’
Sources from AAP said, “If he has done no wrong, why is he so scared of a CBI investigation? He has done so much corruption in KVIC that now he is trying to stop its exposure by threatening people. But he cannot silence our voice. We will keep raising our voice against corruption. We have zero tolerance against corruption.”