CBI books jailed AAP leader Manish Sisodia in snooping case
The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party gathered ‘political intelligence’ through a feedback unit that was set up in 2015.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a first information report against jailed Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia in connection with an alleged case of snooping on political opponents, reported The Indian Express.
The former Delhi deputy chief minister was arrested by the central agency on February 26 in a case related to alleged irregularities in the national capital’s now-scrapped liquor policy.
A fresh case was filed on Tuesday weeks after the home ministry, acting on a recommendation of the Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, gave sanction to prosecute Sisodia. The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party gathered “political intelligence” through its feedback unit that was set up in 2015.
It said that the feedback unit was set up to strengthen the Delhi government’s Vigilance Department. However, a substantial number of reports submitted by the feedback unit pertained not to actionable information on corruption in the Delhi government, but to “political activities of persons, political entities and political issues touching political interest of Aam Aadmi Party, BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party]”, the central agency alleged.
Besides Sisodia, the FIR has named Sukesh Kumar Jain, a 1992-batch Indian Revenue Service officer who was then secretary of vigilance, Rakesh Kumar Sinha who was working as special advisor to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and joint director of the feedback unit, former joint deputy director of Intelligence Bureau Pradeep Kumar Punj, who was working as deputy director of the Feedback Unit, Satish Khetrapal, working as feedback officer and Gopal Mohan, anti-corruption advisor to Kejriwal.
All of them have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act as well as Indian Penal Code Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 468 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 477A (falsification of accounts).
“The inquiry also revealed that Sisodia gave approval for the special allowance for FBU [Feedback Unit] on a proposal moved by PK Punj vide a note dated April 22, 2016,” the complaint said, reported The Indian Express. “As described above the unlawful manner of creation and working of the FBU has caused wrongful loss to the government exchequer to the tune of approximately Rs 36 lakh.”
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation, 60% of the reports generated by the feedback unit pertained to matters related to the vigilance department, while 40% were about political intelligence.
On Thursday, Kejriwal said that another case against Sisodia is part of the BJP’s plan to keep the politician in jail for a long time.
Sisodia is currently in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating a money laundering angle in the Delhi excise policy case based on the first information report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.