Delhi government moves to cripple power of Anti-Corruption Branch
New Delhi: Delhi government has said that the Anti-Corruption Branch can register complaints only upon a nod from its additional commissioner or the vigilance department's director or secretary in a move that may be seen as an attempt to sideline the Lt Governor-appointed chief of the body, Mukesh Kumar Meena.
In a circular on Friday, the AAP government said that in trap cases, the cases will be registered against those facing graft charges by ACB with the approval of the additional commissioner, who is presently SS Yadav.
The circular said that the anti-graft body will take prior permission from the vigilance department director or secretary in all other cases before registering any FIR against a public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The government's move comes against the backdrop of an ongoing turf war between Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
After Jung recently named joint commissioner Meena as the new ACB chief, the AAP government refused to accept the appointment, saying that the anti-graft body has been traditionally headed by an additional commissioner.
The government circular can also be seen as a bid to prevent Meena from registering any case against the chief minister's secretary, Rajendra Kumar, against whom former Delhi Dialogue Commission member Ashish Joshi recently levelled serious corruption charges.
The circular stated that regarding registration of complaints other than FIRs for investigation, the anti-graft body will register such complaints for preliminary inquiry with the approval of secretary (vigilance). The approval of the secretary will also be taken by ACB before closing a case.