CBI's target Rajendra Kumar was Kejriwal's batchmate in IIT

CBI's target Rajendra Kumar was Kejriwal's batchmate in IIT

By: || Updated: 16 Dec 2015 09:00 AM
New Delhi: Rajendra Kumar, the principal secretary to the Delhi chief minister, does not share just an office floor with his boss, Arvind Kejriwal. They shared the campus of IIT Kharagpur, too, decades ago.

Rajendra had the "distinction" of "sharing" a post - principal home secretary (home), National Capital Territory of Delhi -- with another official called Dharam Pal in June this year.

Rajendra was appointed by Kejriwal and Pal by lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, who has been locked in a running battle with the chief minister.

Both Rajendra and Pal held meetings and signed the same files until the Union home ministry stepped in and confirmed that Pal is the principal secretary (home).

Rajendra, who hails from Bihar, graduated in electrical engineering from IIT Kharagpur in 1989 - the same year in which Kejriwal graduated in mechanical engineering from the same institute.

Rajendra immediately joined the IAS, while Kejriwal went to work for Tisco, the steel-maker, before joining the Indian Revenue Service.

When the Aam Aadmi Party made its mark in the Assembly polls in the winter of 2013, Rajendra was principal secretary to the departments of higher and technical education and information technology in the Delhi government.

One of the first to greet Kejriwal at his Ghaziabad home, Rajendra became the chief minister's principal secretary.

Known as an efficient officer, Rajendra held key posts during the Sheila Dikshit regime. He was joint chief electoral officer, special secretary (Commonwealth Games) and the chairman and managing director of Delhi Transco, the state's power transmission utility.

During the Commonwealth Games in 2012, Rajendra was principal secretary, transport. The AAP had accused Dikshit of indulging in corruption on issuing fitness certificates for CNG vehicles. A probe found no wrongdoing. Although the AAP government tried to order a fresh probe, it retained Rajendra.

In May last year, Rajendra was accused of attempting to browbeat principal secretary (energy) Shakuntala Gamlin - the widow of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Jarbom Gamlin - into not accepting temporary charge as chief secretary.

But Gamlin accepted the assignment from Jung while chief secretary K.K. Sharma was on leave in the US. The state government then locked out IAS officers Anindo Majumdar and Ashutosh Kumar, who had signed the papers giving temporary charge to Gamlin, from their offices - an act that many within the IAS fraternity felt could not have happened without Rajendra's knowledge.

In 2013, an AAP volunteer named Om Prakash Chauhan had complained that Rajendra had floated firms which were being given government IT contracts without tenders. Two years later, Transparency International sent a similar complaint to Jung, but Rajendra stayed on.

In June, Indian Post and Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service officer Ashish Joshi, who was shunted out as member-secretary of the Delhi Dialogue Commission in April, complained to Delhi's anti-corruption branch that Rajendra had committed irregularities in awarding contracts.

When the bureau allegedly went slow on the probe, Joshi approached the CBI.

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