Delhi Officer Under Scanner After Rs 41 Crore Land Sold For Rs 353 Crore

New Delhi:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office has received a corruption complaint against Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, and the complaint has been forwarded to Vigilance Minister Atishi.

According to the complaint, Mr Kumar is accused of manipulating a Land Acquisition deal to ensure a profit of Rs 315 crore to a company linked to another that employs his son. The identity of the complainant – a lawyer, according to some reports – has been kept secret, sources told Newsbust India.

The Chief Minister’s office has sought a detailed report.  

According to The Indian Express, the Delhi Chief Secretary has denied the allegations and the acquaintance of senior executives in the firm that employs his son, or the company linked to it.  

Mr Kumar has also pointed out that it was he who had taken action in this case.  

The complaint relates to the sale of a 19-acre plot of land in the city’s southwest that was bought in 2018 by the National Highways Authority of India for the construction of the Dwarka Expressway.  

The original sale price of Rs 41.52 crore was decided by the then district administration.

This was raised to Rs 353.79 crore by Hemant Kumar, the then South West Delhi district magistrate.  

Mr Kumar was later suspended and his order set aside.  

According to The Indian Express, the complainant has argued the higher price ordered to be paid by the NHAI to one of the landowners was manipulated by the Delhi Chief Secretary.  

The landowner who was to receive the higher price – Subhash Chand Kathuria – is directly related to one Aman Sarin, who is the promoter of realty firm Anant Raaj Ltd.

Mr Sarin has alleged links to the Chief Secretary’s son Karan.

According to The Wire, Karan is a Director at another real estate firm – one called Big Town Properties Pvt Ltd, which shares the same postal and email addresses as Anant Raaj Ltd.

According to news agency PTI, in June, this matter was brought to Mr Kumar’s attention. The Chief Secretary directed Delhi’s Directorate of Vigilance – which he heads – to probe the case.   

And, in September, with the approval of Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, a CBI inquiry and departmental action were recommended against Hemant Kumar – the district magistrate concerned.  

Several AAP leaders, including Environment Minister Gopal Rai, Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha and Delhi Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj have commented on this row; Mr Chadha has called it “shocking” and Mr Bhardwaj posted on X, “Last year… serious questions (were raised) about Chief Secretary Mr Naresh Kumar. Now this…”  

This latest corruption allegation comes as the AAP is locked in a battle with the BJP, which controls the centre and – thanks to the Delhi Services Bill – transfer of bureaucrats and employees in the city. 

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