More Trouble For Sisodia: FIR By CBI In The Feedback Unit Snooping Case

More Trouble For Sisodia: FIR By CBI In The Feedback Unit Snooping Case

by Swarajya Staff - Thursday, March 16, 2023 02:13 PM IST
More Trouble For Sisodia: FIR By CBI In The Feedback Unit Snooping Case An FIR has been filed by the CBI against former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and six others under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
  • According to the complainant, an investigation has uncovered that the FBU has been collecting political intelligence alongside the mandated information.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR against seven individuals, including former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia, under the Prevention of Corruption Act regarding the Aam Aadmi Party's supposed 'Feedback Unit (FBU)' snooping case.

After the Ministry of Home Affairs gave the approval to prosecute Sisodia, the CBI filed an FIR on 14 March against him and others.

The charges against them include criminal conspiracy, forgery, dishonest misappropriation of property, falsification of accounts, using a forged document, criminal breach of trust, and criminal misconduct by a public official.

On 9 March, Vijay A Desai, an inspector in the anti-corruption branch of the CBI filed a written complaint.

The complaint led to the registration of a case against several individuals including Manish Sisodia, the previous deputy chief minister of Delhi, Sukesh Kumar Jain, the former secretary of vigilance in Delhi's government, Rakesh Kumar Sinha, the former special advisor to the Chief Minister and Joint Director; Pradeep Kumar Punj, the former deputy director of the Intelligence Bureau and joint deputy director, Satish Khetrapal, an erstwhile assistant commandant of CISF and feedback officer, Gopal Mohan, the anti-corruption advisor to the Delhi Chief Minister, and other unidentified individuals.

This information is detailed in the FIR, as per a report in the Indian Express.

According to the complainant, Desai, an investigation has uncovered that the FBU has been collecting political intelligence alongside the mandated information, accounting for 40 per cent of all generated reports.

This goes beyond the unit's intended function, which was created exclusively for the collection of mandated information.

Moreover, the inquiry revealed that Sisodia approved a special allowance for FBU through a proposal submitted by P K Punj, as stated in a note dated 22 April 2016.

Desai alleges that this manner of creation and operation of FBU is unlawful and has caused losses to the government exchequer of approximately Rs 36 lakh.

Desai filed an FIR alleging that a complaint was received from K C Meena, Deputy Secretary (Vigilance), which led to the registration of a Preliminary Enquiry in the CBI on 2 December, 2016.

According to the enquiry, the creation of FBU was approved by a cabinet decision No. 2217 on 20 September 2015, with the approval of the Chief Minister of Delhi.

Desai claimed that the approval was based on a 'Tabled Item'. The orders for the complaint were received from the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

The FIR refers to the establishment of the FBU, which was tasked with gathering relevant information and feedback concerning the operations of various departments, institutions, and entities under the jurisdiction of the Delhi government.

The FBU's directive also included conducting trap cases. Following this mandate, the Secretary of Vigilance was asked to present a proposal for the formation of the FBU. In the proposal, it was suggested that the FBU's initial staff be composed of both retired and serving personnel.

Subsequently, the Secretary of Vigilance submitted a comprehensive plan for the establishment of the FBU, which was approved by the Chief Minister on 28 October, 2015. As per the CM's directive, the FBU was to report to the Secretary of Vigilance.

According to Desai, an ongoing investigation has discovered that the appointment of retired personnel in FBU was done without seeking approval from competent authorities such as Delhi L-G, thereby making these appointments illegitimate.

The hiring of these personnel was said to be in direct violation of constitutional provisions, guidelines, and rules.

Apparently, FBU commenced operations in February 2016 and aside from other necessary requirements, there was a provision of Rs 1 crore set aside for secret service expenditure in 2016-2017.

Rs 10 lakh, out of the aforementioned amount, was paid out to the FBU in two separate payments of Rs 5 lakh each on 7 June and 13 June, 2016.

As per Desai's findings, only Rs 5.5 lakh was spent by the FBU out of the money disbursed to them.

Two payments were disclosed from the secret service fund (SSF) to M/s Silver Shield Detectives for Rs 1.5 lakh and M/s W.W. Security for Rs 60,000 on 8 June, 2016.

It was found that these payments were processed immediately after the release of the SSF to Satish Khetrapal, who was responsible for maintaining the SSF.

However, during the inquiry, it was revealed that the vouchers submitted for the payments were fraudulent. The owners of both companies denied doing any work for the Delhi government or FBU, and they had not received any payments from them.

According to the allegations, the vouchers made in the names of these firms were fake, and Satish Khetrapal had control over the SSF and its vouchers.

These findings raise concerns about the fraudulent activities taking place in the management of the SSF, requiring further scrutiny to prevent such occurrences in the future.

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