IAS officer Rajendra Kumar’s letter seeking VRS—Part III

In this third part of his letter to Chief Secretary, Delhi seeking voluntary retirement, Rajendra Kumar, IAS describes how central agencies violated rules in hounding him

Photo by Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Sushil Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Web Desk

While leading the implementation of the public projects and assignments during the 27 years of my service in the IAS, I have been guided primarily by the considerations of saving the public funds without compromising on the quality and timelines of the deliverables. And, I acknowledge with humility that I have received the due recognition and rewards for these efforts not only in terms of public appreciations but also in the form of formal and informal encouragements from my superiors with whom I had worked.


All this appreciation and encouragement to good work started to change when I was invited by the new Chief Minister to work with him in December 2013.


I remember that a few days after the Chief Minister resigned in February 2014, I was called by the then Lieutenant Governor and told that people have informed him that I have identified myself too closely with the new Government! When I asked him whether he too believed this, he did not answer me and kept quiet. At this stage, for the first time, I had to question myself whether performing one’s assigned task dutifully was against the conduct rules of the public service?


During the President's Rule, I worked in Urban Development Department and had to interact with the MLAs in connection with MLA Local Area Development funds. The MLAs, irrespective of their party affiliation, were of the view that it was never so easy and fast to get their funds sanctioned. Is being efficient and sincere a sign of misconduct?

“I remember that a few days after the Chief Minister resigned in February 2014, I was called by the then Lieutenant Governor and told that people have informed him that I have identified myself too closely with the new Government! When I asked him whether he too believed this, he did not answer me and kept quiet. At this stage, for the first time, I had to question myself whether performing one’s assigned task dutifully was against the conduct rules of the public service?”
Rajendra Kumar

After President’s Rule, elections were held and I was again assigned to work with the Chief Minister. It was then that the “Government”, which provided for the systems and facilities for a poor student like me and helped me to get the best education in the world, supported me with scholarship all along, always appreciated and rewarded me with best rewards in the country, started hating and punishing me. I had not changed; but the “Government” had changed.


Show Cause: It started with a show-cause notice for following a Government Order assigning me additional charge of a Department. I was asked by the then Chief Secretary not to follow the Services Department order. I requested him to guide me in writing whether I should follow a written authenticated order of Services Department or his instructions. He did not do so. He could not have done anything. Probably, he was afraid of the “Government”. He knew what the answer to my question would be, but he didn’t want to tell that to me as it would have gone against what he was doing.


The whole issue of this show-cause notice ended up in Government giving me an advisory on the issue. However, nobody in the Government dared to give answers to my questions or to say directly that what I did was wrong and what were the reasons of arriving at the conclusion leading to issue of advisory to me. The final decision of the Government contained some vague sentences and it tried to prove using those vague sentences that I was wrong.


In the meantime, an officer who used to work for the Delhi Government, sent a frivolous complaint to the Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi Government alleging corruption on my part. A simple reading of that complaint would have made it obvious to anyone even not connected with the Government Affairs, that the allegations were baseless.


The letter contained allegations such as my wife is related to another lady who is a shareholder in a few companies, and that such companies are my companies and have been established by me and that I have shares and interests in these companies. A simple investigation into these allegations would have brought out the truth.


Indeed, an investigation was taken up, but not by the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government. Under an evil design, the complaint was forwarded to Central Bureau of Investigation and they undertook the investigation. For four-five months, the whole matter was investigated and nothing was found to be of substance in the complaint. When the Government failed to find out anything in the set of allegations contained in the letter of that disgruntled Government officer, the purpose of the Government was not achieved and this was not acceptable to the people who were the “Government” then and continue to be the “Government” today.

“One needs to recall statement given by the then Commissioner of Police that if a person is innocent, he has to prove his innocence in the court of law. The fundamentals of jurisprudence and legal framework have been turned on its head by the present Government. One feels pain at such a situation. No one is safe now. There seems to be no law. You either bow down or you would be hounded and maybe eliminated. The “Animal Farm” is being rehearsed and followed. “1984” is the aim.”
Rajendra Kumar

Anti-Corruption Branch: When the Government found out that I am not scared of the enquiry being conducted by Central Bureau of Investigation, they asked the Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi Government to summon me and Anti-Corruption Branch of Delhi Government did summon me. They repeatedly interrogated me over a period of one month for something which was not done by me by any stretch of imagination and with which I was not connected in any manner.


The issue was about alleged corruption done in award of contract related to CNG Fitness Certification System and this contract was awarded in 2002. The questions which I was asked by Anti-Corruption Branch primarily related to the issue as to why I did not cancel the contract during my tenure as Commissioner of Transport in the year 2012?


The FIR itself was registered in December of the that year. The issue on which the Anti-Corruption Branch was questioning me was such a ridiculous issue that one can only laugh about it. There is no law which requires cancellation of a contract on mere filing of an FIR.


Further, if after investigation it is found out that no crime was committed, the cancellation without due investigation and without following the due process, might result in government requiring to compensate the contractor with a penal sum. The basic principle of jurisprudence is that anything which is not prohibited by law is legal. However, the “Government” nowadays thinks otherwise.


One needs to recall statement given by the then Commissioner of Police that if a person is innocent, he has to prove his innocence in the court of law. The fundamentals of jurisprudence and legal framework have been turned on its head by the present Government. One feels pain at such a situation. No one is safe now. There seems to be no law. You either bow down or you would be hounded and maybe eliminated. The “Animal Farm” is being rehearsed and followed. “1984” is the aim.

“It is mandatory under the law to mention the source of the information, however at no point of time CBI either in the FIR or in the written submissions made to the court, revealed the name of the informant(s). There were a lot of inconsistencies in this FIR, as it was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation in great haste with malafide intent and in illegal manner violating their own manual.”
Rajendra Kumar

Suddenly, on 14th December 2015, an FIR was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation on very frivolous grounds and indicating the source of the information for registering the FIR as oral information. The relevant point is that if the allegations contained in the letter written by that disgruntled government officer were correct, then the FIR should have been registered on the basis of that complaint. If the allegations were found not to be correct, then no FIR could have been registered based on the same set of allegations by the Central Bureau of Investigation showing them as oral information.


CBI violates its own manual: It is mandatory under the law to mention the source of the information, however at no point of time CBI either in the FIR or in the written submissions made to the court, revealed the name of the informant(s). There were a lot of inconsistencies in this FIR, as it was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation in great haste with malafide intent and in illegal manner violating their own manual.


They obtained a search warrant by distorting the facts and searched my house and my office including that of my immediate superior, the Chief Minister of Delhi. They inserted a lot of misinformation in the mass media just to malign me in the eyes of the people and my friends and colleagues who hold me in very high esteem. They forcibly took the access of my Gmail under threat of arrest and seized other electronic items.


They also forced the Excise Department of Government of Delhi to submit a complaint to the Delhi Police to file another FIR under Excise Act, where absolutely no case was made out, as the amount of liquor kept at my home was well within the limits of possession. Just because a case was not made out under Excise Act for possession, they also inserted another section of the Excise Act alleging me of having smuggled liquor into Delhi. It was such a ridiculous insertion, that when I tell people that the Delhi Police has also alleged me of having smuggled liquor, they find it unbelievable.


End of Part III; to be concluded.


Read Part I of the letter here and Part II here.

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Published: 13 Jan 2017, 5:59 PM