Vigilance department terminates services of Arvind Kejriwal’s private secretary

The Delhi Directorate of Vigilance on Wednesday terminated the services of Bibhav Kumar, private secretary to jailed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, The Indian Express reported.

Special Secretary (Vigilance) YVVJ Rajasekhar issued the order two days after the Enforcement Directorate questioned Kumar in the Delhi liquor policy case. The order said that the “prescribed procedure” had not been “scrupulously followed” in Kumar’s appointment, which was therefore illegal and invalid from the outset.

The special secretary cited a pending case from 2007 against Kumar, in which he is accused of having obstructed government work, ANI reported.

“It is observed that charges against Bibhav Kumar are grave in nature, including charge of ‘assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty’ [section 353 of Indian Penal Code], for which the trial against Bibhav Kumar is at the stage of evidence, and therefore Bibhav Kumar is not clear from vigilance angle,” the order said.

The Enforcement Directorate has alleged in its chargesheet Kumar, among others, allegedly destroyed, used or changed 170 phones in a bid to conceal evidence that the Aam Aadmi Party received kickbacks from a “South Group” linked to Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavitha.

The Aam Aadmi Party’s legal team is planning to move the Central Administrative Tribunal against the order.

Kejriwal is presently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail on charges of money-laundering linked to the liquor case.

The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that the Delhi government modified the capital’s now-scrapped liquor excise policy to increase wholesalers’ commissions by 5% to 12%. This allegedly facilitated the receipt of bribes from wholesalers with a substantial market share and turnover.

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