The Union Home Ministry has granted the prosecution sanction to the CBI against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in a case of alleged collection of “political intelligence” through a feedback unit (FBU) set up to check corruption.
In a communication to the principal secretary to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor, the home ministry said the sanction to prosecute Sisodia was granted under Section 17 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Early this month, the CBI had said it found in its preliminary inquiry that the FBU set up by the Delhi government to check corruption allegedly collected “political intelligence” and the agency recommended that an FIR be registered against Sisodia.
The Aam Aadmi Party dispensation had proposed setting up the FBU in 2015 to gather relevant information and actionable feedback regarding the working of the various departments and autonomous bodies, institutions and entities falling under the jurisdiction of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) and also to do “trap cases”, the CBI said.
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The unit started functioning in 2016 with a provision of Rs 1 crore for secret service expenditure, it said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation alleged that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal moved the proposal in a Cabinet meeting in 2015, but no agenda note was circulated. No sanction from the Lieutenant Governor was taken for appointments in the FBU, it claimed.
“The Feedback Unit, in addition to collecting the mandated information, also collected political intelligence/intelligence qua miscellaneous issues,” the CBI said in its preliminary inquiry report.
The CBI registered the preliminary inquiry on a reference from the Delhi government’s vigilance department, which had allegedly detected irregularities in the FBU.