November 30, 2023

New Delhi:

Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has refused to consider a report of Vigilance Minister Atishi alleging “prima facie complicity” of Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar in the Bamnoli land acquisition matter, saying it seems to be “completely based” on the minister’s preconceived assumptions and presumptions, Raj Niwas officials said on Sunday.

In a file noting on the government’s submission of the report to him, Mr Saxena has said the report “could very well go on to hamper the ongoing investigation, instead of facilitating it”.

“I have received the ‘Preliminary Report’ on ‘Complaints’, submitted by Hon’ble Minister (Vigilance) and endorsed by Hon’ble Chief Minister. It is surprising and unfortunate, to say the least, that this report, which deals with sensitive vigilance-related matters and has been marked to my Secretariat in confidential cover, is already in public domain and its digital/electronic copies are freely available and details thereof have been widely reported in the media,” he has said in the file.

Noting that selective text from the report has been purportedly leaked to the media, the LG has said it appears “prima facie that the whole motive of this supposed inquiry was not to unearth the truth, but to start a media trial and politicise this whole issue”, even as it is before the Supreme Court.

“One is forced to wonder whether the same doesn’t amount to creating a public perception prejudice, aimed at influencing the Hon’ble courts,” he has added.

Mr Saxena has also pointed out that the matter is already being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

“Since the matter is already under investigation by CBI as approved by me based on recommendations of the Chief Secretary and the Divisional Commissioner, it is my considered view that the recommendation … before me for consideration is prejudiced and devoid of merit and therefore, cannot be agreed to,” he has said.

Mr Kumar has denied any wrongdoing and alleged that “mudslinging” is being done by people with “vested interests” against whom vigilance action was taken for corruption.

The 670-page report of the vigilance minister was submitted to the LG by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office on Wednesday. The report has demanded Mr Kumar’s suspension and claimed that the scale of “undue benefits” in the matter is more than Rs 897 crore.
The 19-acre land in question was acquired by the National Highways Authority of India in 2018 for the construction of the Dwarka Expressway.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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