CBI says Delhi govt's feedback unit collected 'political intelligence, recommends FIR against Sisodia
The feedback unit (FBU) set up by the Delhi government to check corruption allegedly collected "political intelligence", the CBI has found in a preliminary enquiry and recommended that an FIR be registered against Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The AAP dispensation had proposed setting up the FBU in 2015 to gather relevant information and actionable feedback regarding the working of the various departments and autonomous bodies, institutions and entities falling under the jurisdiction of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) and also to do "trap cases", the CBI said.
The unit started functioning in 2016 with a provision of Rs 1 crore for secret service expenditure, it said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation alleged that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal moved the proposal in a Cabinet meeting in 2015, but no agenda note was circulated. No sanction from the Lt Governor was taken for appointments in the FBU, it alleged.
"The Feedback Unit, in addition to collecting the mandated information, also collected political intelligence/intelligence qua miscellaneous issues," the CBI said in its preliminary enquiry report.
The CBI registered the preliminary enquiry on a reference from the Delhi government's vigilance department, which had detected irregularities in the FBU.
Prima facie, the agency noted, there was deliberate violation of rules, guidelines and circulars by "delinquent public servants".
"The nature of violations committed is inherently dishonest and as such materials disclose abuse of official position with dishonest intention by concerned public servants Manish Sisodia, Dy. CM and Sukesh Kumar Jain, the then Secretary (Vigilance)," the report alleged.
According to the CBI, 60 per cent of the reports generated by the FBU pertained to vigilance and corruption matters, while "political intelligence" and other issues accounted for around 40 per cent.
"The scrutiny of such reports during the period from February 2016 to the early part of September 2016 shows that a substantial number of reports submitted by FBU officials related not to actionable feedback or information on corruption in any department, institute, entity etc. under GNCTD but related to political activities of persons, political entities and political issues touching political interest of Aam Aadmi Party, BJP, which was beyond the scope and ambit of functions of FBU," the CBI has alleged.
It alleged that FBU was misused by the concerned public servants for a purpose other than the one for which it was manifestly created.
"Use of FBU to this extent for the purpose of gathering political intelligence for AAP or for convenor Arvind Kejriwal can reasonably be interpreted to mean and constitute the obtaining of valuable thing or pecuniary advantage, as gathering this information otherwise would necessarily have entailed spending money," the CBI alleged.
The CBI said FBU was functioning for some "hidden purpose" which was not in the interest of the GNCTD but "private interest of Aam Aadmi Party and Manish Sisodia", who played an active role in the creation of the unit, flouting the established rules of GNCTD and MHA in connivance with Sukesh Kumar Jain, the then vigilance secretary.
It was also revealed that no formal action was taken against any public servant or department based on FBU reports, the CBI alleged.
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