Corruption Complaint Filed Against Aam Aadmi Party of Arvind Kejriwal
I have sent a detailed petition to the authorities to initiate investigation and prosecution in the case of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) headed by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. An abridged version of the petition that I sent is given below.
By Rakesh Raman
To May 8, 2022
Justice Harish Chandra
Delhi Lokayukta, Office of the Lokayukta
Government of NCT of Delhi
Dr. Jitendra Singh
Minister of State, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) / Prime Minister Office (PMO)
Government of India, North Block, New Delhi 110 001
[ Among other responsibilities, DoPT is mandated to handle allegations, complaints, and enquiries against Chief Ministers and Ministers of State Governments and sanction for prosecution of Chief Ministers and Ministers of State Governments. ]
Copy for Action: Mr. Anil Baijal, Lt. Governor (LG) of Delhi
Petition: Petition to start investigation into the alleged crime and corruption cases of the ministers of Delhi Government and legislators (MLAs) of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) headed by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal
Petition by: Rakesh Raman
I am filing this petition to get the corruption cases of Delhi MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) opened, as there are multiple complaints of corruption against them. While these Delhi MLAs get off scot-free by claiming that the cases of crime and corruption against them are politically motivated, there is an immediate need to hold transparent and live-streamed investigations into their alleged cases of crime and corruption. [ You can click here to study the report on the “Catch Your MLA” service that I have launched in Delhi. It depicts the disaster in Delhi caused by the Delhi Government headed by chief minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal. ]
As regards corruption, reports suggest that more than 200 corruption cases are pending at the Lokayukta office. Out of these, over 80 cases are against Delhi MLAs most of whom belong to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.
While there are multiple complaints of corruption or misappropriation of public funds against AAP legislators in Delhi, in 2019 the party decided to defy the notice from Lokayukta which had asked AAP MLAs to reveal the details of their assets. As AAP MLAs had dismissed the notice saying that these are politically motivated cases against them, the details of their assets were never revealed publicly.
Similarly, the Shunglu Committee which was set up to investigate the corruption of the AAP government did not yield any result. A former LG of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, had set up an expert committee – called the Shunglu Committee – to examine over 400 files for financial and administrative irregularities committed by Delhi Government headed by CM Arvind Kejriwal.
While the Shunglu Committee had submitted its report in November 2016, it is stated that the report has found serious cases of fraud, misuse of authority, cheating, and misappropriation of funds in Kejriwal’s government. But the entire case was brushed under the carpet and the findings of the report were not made public.
The investigation into the crime and corruption cases of AAP members is also important because AAP had the maximum number of candidates with criminal records in the 2020 Delhi Assembly election. Election research organizations Delhi Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) had revealed that AAP had the highest number of 36 nominees with serious charges against them.
In September 2021, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) – which probes financial crimes – had called AAP’s national secretary Pankaj Gupta for questioning in connection with a money laundering case. But the outcome of the ED investigation was not revealed.
Moreover, in 2020, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police had revealed that 2 persons were arrested for allegedly donating Rs 2 crore to Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) through shell companies formed on the basis of fabricated documents.
There are numerous reports of misappropriation of public funds by Kejriwal, Delhi ministers, and AAP MLAs where they have lavishly squandered public money on the renovation of their homes / offices, huge medical expenses in private hospitals instead of using Mohalla Clinics that Kejriwal promotes in his public rallies, false publicity campaigns, and so on. All these expenses incurred in an unscrupulous manner amount to misappropriation of public funds for which Kejriwal, his ministers, and AAP MLAs must be held accountable.
Strangely, in all these cases, the investigation and / or prosecution reports were not made public. Arvind Kejriwal and his party colleagues often ridicule the complaints against them and circumvent law and public scrutiny. But the fact can’t be ignored that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The possibility can’t be ruled out that the AAP members avoid proper investigations by bribing the law-enforcement agencies or making secret political arrangements with the national government of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which controls central anti-corruption and law-enforcement agencies.
The anti-corruption authorities may also be reluctant to investigate AAP cases because Kejriwal and AAP threaten to hold street demonstrations and protests if their cases are opened. As a result, no thorough investigation is taking place into the corruption cases of AAP and its members. Since the investigations are not being held transparently, Kejriwal, Delhi Government ministers, and AAP legislators cannot be exonerated.
While corruption is rampant in Delhi, Kejriwal has been squandering huge public money on advertisements to make false claims that he has removed corruption from the city-state. [ You can click here to study and investigate some of the glaring corruption cases in Delhi. ]
The false claims being made by Kejriwal and AAP through public speeches and expensive advertisements will have a devastating impact in other states where they are trying to hoodwink the voters by claiming that they have made Delhi a corruption-free state. In Punjab, for example, Kejriwal made a slew of false promises and fake claims about AAP’s performance in Delhi to win the election deceptively. But the AAP-led corruption is now spreading in Punjab. For example, there are new reports that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) carried out searches at the premises of an AAP MLA in Punjab in an alleged Rs. 40-crore bank fraud case.
Since almost all the people who join AAP are illiterate, dishonest, or have a criminal record, they tend to gobble up public money shamelessly. In a recent case, for example, the AAP-led Punjab Government had to pay Rs. 45 lakh for chief minister Bhagwant Mann’s visit to Gujarat. According to reports, Mann – who is an accomplice of Kejriwal – went to Gujarat to campaign for AAP for the upcoming state election. This is a clear-cut case of misappropriation of public funds for taking undue political advantage.
During election campaigns, Kejriwal even offered to pay money to the voters if they vote for his party and get AAP elected in Punjab. This action of Kejriwal amounts to enticement of bribe to voters to get an undue advantage in the election. It is clearly a form of cash-for-votes scam for which Kejriwal and AAP must be prosecuted and punished. It is learnt that after winning the Punjab election, Kejriwal did not pay money to voters as he had promised before the election. Thus, Kejriwal deliberately subverted the democratic processes and cheated the citizens – which is a cognizable offence.
It is also a case of misappropriation of funds when Kejriwal claims that he is distributing free services such as healthcare through Mohalla Clinics, free school education, free electricity, and free water to residents of Delhi. Instead of empowering the citizens to help them earn their livelihood with dignity, Kejriwal is perpetuating a dependent, idle society which will always be dependent on government dole and keep voting for Kejriwal in return to his free offers which are actually bribes to voters. Although there is no formal audit and Return on Investment (RoI) analysis of the money being spent on free services, Kejriwal is intentionally destroying the socio-economic structures in Delhi by misusing public funds.
Now Kejriwal and AAP are repeating their fraudulent model of governance in other states where elections are going to take place. They must be stopped immediately from committing this immoral act of deceiving the innocent voters for their personal gains. Since inaction or inefficiency of a public functionary is the worst form of corruption, there are umpteen examples of dereliction of duty, carelessness, and inaction by AAP ministers and MLAs. They must be prosecuted according to the anti-corruption laws.
Note: For such cases of corruption and white-collar crimes, only circumstantial evidence is required to begin prosecution.
The Delhi Lokayukta and Upalokayukta Act, 1995 was enacted in 1996 and its Rules were notified in the year 1998. Lokayukta and Upalokayukta are mandated to inquire into allegations of corruption, misuse of authority and wrongdoings of public functionaries. These include the Chief Minister, Ministers, MLAs, Member of Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Managing Director and a member of Board of Directors of government companies, corporations, commissions, cooperative societies, etc. It excludes from its ambit civil servants / bureaucrats, judiciary, police, and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
With the procedural framework described above, Lokayukta is urged to take up this case and deliver justice to the people at large in Delhi.
Note: The Lokayukta’s complaint handling system is totally flawed and opaque like the defective systems in other Indian government departments. However, in the absence of any other local forum, this complaint is being filed to Lokayukta, in addition to DoPT.
REQUEST FOR ACTION
In view of the facts stated above, Delhi Lokayukta and the DoPT are requested to take the following action:
1. Issue individual notices to the AAP MLAs of Delhi to participate in the investigation process initiated by the Lokayukta or DoPT.
2. Direct AAP MLAs to publicly declare their assets to know the cases of assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.
3. Direct Kejriwal and AAP MLAs to make the details of their auxiliary expenses public.
4. Direct Kejriwal and AAP MLAs to reveal the amount they spent on advertisements during their ongoing tenure and the approval process to spend money on advertisements.
5. Since inaction is a form of corruption, Lokayukta should direct Kejriwal and AAP legislators to produce and submit the record of their periodic work in terms of public service. [ You can click here to download and study a related document. ]
6. Order a physical inspection, audit, and Return on Investment (RoI) analysis of the schools, Mohalla Clinics, hospitals, etc. on which Kejriwal and AAP are squandering huge public money.
7. Prosecute this case under Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and / or under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
8. Pronounce any other judgment that is appropriate in this case.
9. Protect me from all types of threats and vindictive action.
10. Revamp the Lokayukta website and put all the case details and communications with the AAP legislators on the website to keep the prosecution process transparent. Also, live-stream and record all hearings with AAP legislators so that they should not be able to say that the cases against them are politically motivated.
Note: Lokayukta and DoPT officials must not feel scared if Kejriwal or AAP threaten to protest against them. They should carry out the investigation and prosecution in an honest manner. As a petitioner, I should be allowed to participate in the investigation process so that I could ask them relevant questions.
ABOUT THE PETITIONER: RAKESH RAMAN
Rakesh Raman is a national award-winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation, which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. Nowadays, for the past 12 years, he has been running his own global news services on multiple news sites.
He runs various environment protection, education awareness, and anti-corruption campaigns, and publishes digital magazines and research reports on different subjects. Earlier, he had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development.
Recently, he has launched a comprehensive research project to compile an exclusive research report on corruption in India. Its working title is “India Corruption Research Report 2022 (ICRR 2022)”. He has also launched a nationwide campaign to introduce social democracy in India in order to build an egalitarian society in which all citizens could enjoy equal rights, opportunities, freedoms, and access to justice.
Rakesh has launched a public campaign which aims to get the directionless school education system in India revamped so that students can acquire contemporary skills that can help them progress in the modern information-driven world. He has launched a new editorial section / microsite “Power Play: Lok Sabha Election 2024 in India” to cover the election news, events, and campaigns.
In his anti-corruption activities, he participated in a global petition led by Germany-based international organization Transparency International to call for the UN General Assembly Special Session against Corruption, UNGASS 2021, to direct all countries to set up central, public registers of beneficial ownership.
Rakesh has also participated in the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project for 2022 as a Country Expert for India to provide expert research inputs on multiple topics pertaining to democracy and governance. The V-Dem Project is managed by V-Dem Institute under the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
He runs a community-driven anti-corruption social service “Clean House” to help the residents of Delhi raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice in housing societies where millions of people suffer because of rampant corruption and lawlessness. He has also formed an environment protection group called Green Group in New Delhi, which is the most polluted national capital in the world.
As Rakesh has been facing constant threats including death threats for his editorial and anti-corruption work, the Paris-based international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that defends freedom of journalists has urged the Indian government to save him from threats and persecution. You can click here to read his full profile.
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