Headline: Ex-Kejriwal aide gets bail

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Photo 1: Rajendra Kumar

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party head Arvind Kejriwal’s former Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, who was arrested in a corruption case, has been granted bail by a Special court.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge Arvind Kumar gave the relief to Rajendra Kumar on furnishing of a personal bond of one lakh rupees.

The court directed that Kumar not try to contact any witness and not try to influence the ongoing probe in the case.

Kumar, along with four others, was arrested by the CBI on July 4 in connection with the case of allegedly showing undue favours to a private company in award of government contracts worth over Rs 50 crore.

Besides Kumar, the CBI has arrested former Deputy Secretary in Kejriwal’s office, Tarun Sharma, Kumar’s alleged close aide Ashok Kumar, and Managing Director of a PSU, R.S. Kaushik.

Kaushik’s predecessor, G.K. Nanda, former Managing Director of Intelligent Communication Systems India Ltd (ICSIL) which is a Delhi government undertaking, and the owner of private firm Endeavour Systems Pvt Ltd (ESPL), Dinesh Kumar Gupta, and its co-owner, Sandeep Kumar, were also arrested in the case.

Gupta, Sharma, Ashok Kumar and Kaushik have also moved bail application in the court.

According to the CBI, the five accused were allegedly showing undue favours to private firm ESPL which the agency alleged was floated by Kumar for the award of government contracts worth over Rs 50 crore.

The CBI had registered a case against Kumar and others in December last year alleging that the officer had abused his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders of Delhi government departments”.

The CBI has alleged that the accused persons had entered into a criminal conspiracy and caused a loss of Rs 12 crore to the Delhi government in award of contracts between 2007 and 2015, and claimed that the officials had taken “undue benefit” of over three crore rupees while awarding the contracts.

This is the same case in which the agency had come under scathing criticism from the court which had directed it to return documents sought by the Delhi government and seized during the December 15, 2015 search of Kejriwal’s office.

The arrest of these top state government official had triggered a political storm, with Kejriwal’s Delhi government accusing the central BJP government  of indulging in “political vendetta” and “paralyzing” governance.