CBI to retain documents seized during Delhi secretariat raid: HC
NEW DELHI, Feb 10: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday set aside the order of the trial court directing the CBI to release the documents seized during the raid at the office of Rajendra Kumar, principal secretary to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on December 15, 2015.
Justice P.S. Teji said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will retain the documents seized by it during the raid.
“The claim of the CBI to retain the documents for the purpose of investigation is justifiable. Accordingly, the impugned order dated January 20, 2016 is hereby set aside and the investigating officer is at liberty to retain the documents during the pendency of the investigation,” said the court.
The court’s order came on a CBI plea challenging a trial court’s January 20 order directing the probe agency to release the documents.
The high court said that in the trial court’s order, “error has been committed and jurisdiction has been exceeded in accepting the claim of the return of the documents, selected by the respondent no.1 (government), mentioned in para 8 of the application as it overshadows the investigation”. Commenting on the trial court’s order, Justice Teji said: “...neither justifiable nor desirable as the relevancy is to be examined by the investigating officer and not by the court and the same tantamounts to interference in the investigation conducted by the investigating officer”.
“This court is of the considered opinion that requirement of documents for the purpose of investigation is to be examined and decided by the investigating officer and any direction to interfere in the same is not justified,” it added in a 29 page judgement.
The Aam Aadmi Party government had told the court that the CBI was trying to give a “political colour” to the raid and that the agency acted under “political pressure” to indiscrimitely seize the documents.
The CBI, however, said the documents seized from the office of Rajendra Kumar “prima facie reflect crimil conspiracy and crimil misconduct and abuse of official position by the accused people”.
Defending the seizure of documents from the office of Rajendra Kumar, located next to the chief minister’s office in the Delhi Secretariat, the agency had said the proper procedure for the search was followed.
Kejriwal claimed his office was raided too, and linked it to a probe he had ordered against union Fince Minister Arun Jaitley on issues related to alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) which Jaitley had headed earlier. The CBI denied searching Kejriwal’s office. (IANS)