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31 Mar 2017

AAP's 'spying unit': CBI finds gross legal violations

The CBI has found that the Delhi government recruited candidates for its so-called spy department, the Feedback Unit, in gross violation of rules.

Going against law, AAP allegedly filled 17 posts without the Lieutenant-Governor's approval.

The unit's creation has also been questioned, since the decision came from a council of ministers on CM Arvind Kejriwal's proposal, without floating a cabinet note.

In context

AAP's 'spying unit' under CBI probe
What is AAP's Feedback Unit?

Feedback Unit

What is AAP's Feedback Unit?

The task of the Feedback Unit, which reports to the Vigilance Department Secretary, was to "gather information and actionable feedback regarding works of the departments/autonomous bodies/institution/entities etc falling under the jurisdiction of (Government of NCT of Delhi) and also to do trap cases".

Initially, it was proposed that posts would be filled by serving and retired personnel.


Birth of AAP's Feedback Unit

Through Decision No 2217 on September 29, 2015, the cabinet cleared the formation of the unit under the Directorate of Vigilance, GNCTD.

On the cabinet's directions, Principal Secretary of the Vigilance Department, Chetan B.Sanghi, submitted a detailed proposal for its setting up, which was approved by Kejriwal on October 10 the same year.

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Hasty recruitments


Hasty recruitments

The initial proposal suggested adjusting the 20 posts in the unit against 22 abolished posts in industries. However, they were eventually adjusted against 88 created in the Anti-Corruption Branch, which had only been tentatively approved by Administrative Reforms Department.

No rules were framed to guide recruitment.

This was in complete violation of the fact that only the LG's office can create government posts.


Mass irregularities in the Feedback Unit's functioning

Among many other reported irregularities, Rs. 50,000 was allocated to Kailash Chand, an ACB clerk, to probe bribery allegations at Kalka Public School, but no such person exists.

High-end vehicles and money were reportedly provided to employees to carry out snooping.

However, Vigilance department itself doesn't have records of the unit's work and outcomes. CBI filed an FIR in February'17.

Vigilance steps up against Feedback Unit

Since February'16, AAP has released Rs. 40,82,982 in special secret funds. In the 2016-17 budget, Rs. 1cr was allocated for the same. Though it was under Vigilance's supervision, it was allegedly controlled by the CMO. Vigilance subsequently wrote to the LG and CBI seeking probe.

AAP's controversies with surveillance


AAP's controversies with surveillance

AAP had earlier come up with atleast two proposals on surveillance: while the first related to procuring high-end equipment for the purpose at a budget of Rs. 35.95cr, the second suggested setting-up a parallel system to check on departments' functioning.

It proposed creating 259 new posts, and drastically increasing special secret funds from Rs. 1.5L to Rs. 20L.

Both plans were shelved after criticism.

01 Apr 2017

5 AAP spies quit over controversial work

Of the 20 retired service personnel from intelligence services that were recruited by AAP, 5 allegedly quit after being told that they had to spy on journalists, bureaucrats and politicians.

Two quit within two months of joining and three others followed, while one was reportedly asked to leave.

Documents also revealed that their appointments were made in violation of recruitment rules.

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