Delhi Secretariat raid: HC asks CBI to give copies of seized documents

Court said the documents were required as it wanted to examine their relevancy.

New Delhi: Delhi High Court on Monday directed the CBI to supply it and the AAP government with photocopies of the documents seized by the agency during raids at the office of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's principal secretary Rajendra Kumar on December 15 last.

The court said the documents were required as it wanted to examine their relevancy to establish whether the original papers can be retained by the CBI or not.

The court ordered the documents to be supplied within two days and listed the matter for hearing on January 29.

"Whatever documents you (CBI) have seized, you have to give one set of photocopy of all those to the court and the counsel for Delhi government," Justice P S Teji said.

The judge said the agency may keep the originals with it so that the court "can look into it at any point during the arguments".

The judge wanted to see the documents to know whether they were important or not.

"I am not aware of the contents of the documents. You get me one set of documents," the judge said.

The high court's direction came on CBI's plea seeking stay on a trial court order asking it to release the seized documents to the Delhi government, saying it needed them as the investigation was on.

A Special Court on January 20 had directed the CBI to return certain documents seized by it during the December 15 raids at Kumar's office, while disposing of an application filed by the Delhi government seeking their release.

Challenging the decision today, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the agency, asserted that the decision to raid Kumar's office was not influenced by any political party and "the colour given by AAP government is unwarranted."

He also contended that "the judge failed in observing that the present application was filed by the Delhi government which has absolutely no locus standi in the present case. The present regular case was filed against Rajendra Kumar for criminal misconduct by government officials and has nothing to do with the Delhi government".

The ASG claimed the trial court judge had failed to appreciate that the right of investigation was the inherent right of the probe agency which cannot be curtailed by passing such orders.

ASG, assisted by CBI standing counsel Sonia Mathur, further contended that the probe was at a crucial stage and the documents seized were important for the investigation of the case to prove the involvement of the accused persons.

He said the documents seized from the office of Rajendra Kumar "prima facie reflect criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct and abuse of official position by accused persons".

Defending the seizure of documents during the raid, the agency had said proper procedure for search was followed and they were not opposing supply of the documents to the accused.

ASG Mehta further said "the judge has erroneously observed that 'upon that this is not a fair investigation but CBI has arbitrarily abused its authority during the search'."

To this, Judge Teji said the observation may be for the purpose of order, so it hardly matters.

Meanwhile, advocate D P Singh, appearing for Kumar, told the court that his client's name should be deleted from the list of respondents in the present challenge petition, as he was not contesting the findings of the trial court nor questioning the CBI investigation at this stage.

Hearing this, the court allowed Kumar's oral request and deleted his name as respondent in the plea filed by CBI.

( Source : PTI )
Next Story