Delhi

Who is Rajendra Kumar?

Considered a close confidant of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, 49-year-old Rajendra Kumar, Mr. Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary, was arrested for graft on the eve of his 50{+t}{+h}birthday by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here on Tuesday.

An Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official belonging to the 1989 batch of the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre, this isn’t Mr. Kumar’s first tryst with controversy. It started as soon as he was appointed as Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister after a bitter struggle following the formation of the first Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in late 2013, which was in power for 49 days, materialised to the current allegations of graft against him.

The Hindu has learnt that Mr. Kejriwal had first received a complaint alleging that Mr. Kumar was involved in graft from international anti-graft watchdog Transparency International India on May 27, 2015 – more than a good fortnight before Ashish Joshi, a 1992-batch Indian Post and Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service (IP&TAFS) officer — moved the Delhi government Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) against him on June 15.

Apart from the Chief Minister, the said complaint, which is in possession of The Hindu , had been filed, and forwarded on behalf of an anonymous complainant to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

“...Recently we have received an anonymous complaint...alleging corruption issues as well as disproportionate asset(s)...Our organisation requests you to kindly look into the issue and take necessary steps to ensure that if the allegations…are true then appropriate steps should be taken against the accused. We urge you that refer this case to appropriate investigation agency (sic.)” the complaint, forwarded by Transparency International India executive director Ashutosh Kumar Mishra stated.

On June 15, Mr. Joshi, who was suspended from his posting as member-secretary, Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) on May 9, accused Mr. Kumar of corrupt practices related to the Information Technology (IT) sector in a complaint to Joint Commissioner of Police (Anti-Corruption Branch) Mukesh Kumar Meena.

Claiming that ‘his knowledge of’ Mr. Kumar’s corruption had triggered his abrupt repatriation by the Delhi Government based on allegations of ‘misconduct and misbehaviour’, the complaint had resulted in the ACB sending a notice asking Mr. Kumar to join investigation related to Mr. Joshi’s allegations against him.

“During the course of implementation of e-governance initiatives in Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) as Chief Digitisation Officer, I learnt about the corrupt practices adopted by Shri Rajendra Kumar related to IT,” Mr. Joshi wrote in his complaint.

It was a matter of investigation, Mr. Joshi said, why Mr. Kejriwal had appointed such an officer as his secretary and ‘what signal does it send, down the line, to the bureaucracy’.

“It is understood that IT related work and SAP licence for more than Rs.50 crore were got done through this modus operandi...a chain of such companies were formed between 2009 and 2014 in the fields of energy, real estate, coaching with Ashok Kumar as a common director in these companies....most of these...have common addresses and common directors. Some common directors are relatives of Rajendra Kumar,” Mr. Joshi alleged.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 5:10:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/who-is-rajendra-kumar/article7994084.ece

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