On Friday, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) wrote to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), seeking a probe against IAS officer Hemant Kumar for alleged irregularities in awarding compensation for land acquisition in southwest Delhi’s Bamnoli village. The MHA also placed Kumar under suspension with immediate effect.
Kumar, a 2013-batch AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories) cadre Indian Administrative Services officer, was serving as the district magistrate of southwest district of Delhi when he increased the compensation amount of 19-acre land being acquired by the National Highways Authority of India from Rs 41.5 crore to Rs 353.8 crore.
According to a report of the directorate of vigilance of Delhi government, which was substantiated by the divisional commissioner, Kumar’s reporting manager, the order, if implemented, would have put an additional financial burden of Rs 312 crore on the government.
The report said that the enhancement of compensation by Kumar was a “gross blunder” and was especially serious when coming from a DM who should have known the prevalent land rates.
“If the principle applied by the DM is considered, it would result in absurd results having bearing on planned urbanisation and development,” the report added.
Accepting the report, LG Saxena had given his approval to write to the MHA to initiate disciplinary action against the officer besides referring it to the CBI for further investigation. LG had also accepted the recommendation to surrender the officer to the services department for further action.
Following the recommendation of National Capital Civil Service Authority, Kumar was transferred by the services department to the administrative reforms department as special secretary on September 21.
In its letter to the CBI, the MHA said it had examined the recommendation made by the government of Delhi, which was approved by the competent authority (read LG) and decided that the matter be referred to the central agency for investigation.
“The CBI is therefore requested to expeditiously conduct investigation and further details, if any, may please be obtained directly from the GNCTD,” the letter read.