New Delhi: In a setback for Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi High Court today quashed an earlier order by a trial court directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to return documents seized during raids at the CM's Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar's office on December 15, 2015, on grounds that the order contained self-contradictory reasons.
A bench of Justice P S Teji, while allowing the appeal of the CBI, said that the trial court exceeded in its jurisdiction and the order had self-contradictory reasons.
"The appeal is allowed. The trial court order stands quashed," the bench said.
The AAP government had earlier alleged that the seizure of documents by the investigative agency had paralysed the government's functioning. The claim was denied by the CBI on February 1 before the High Court.
At the "initial stage of investigation relevancy of the documents cannot be disclosed even if known to the probe agency, as it can do harm to the ongoing investigation", the CBI had said.
Opposing the trial court's finding, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for CBI, had said that the documents in its possession will "not hamper their (the Delhi government) functioning and it cannot be said that these are unrelated documents" and "the order has completely demoralised the investigating agency".
The Delhi government had countered CBI's contention, saying the "agency has picked up documents which have nothing to do with the investigation and it is hampering the government's functioning".
The agency had contended that the Special CBI Judge had failed to appreciate that the Delhi government has already obtained photocopies of the documents seized and thus the order of returning the documents was "wholly misconceived".
CBI had raided office of Kumar on December 15, last year, and registered a corruption case against him and others alleging that he had abused his official position by "favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from a Delhi government department".
(With PTI inputs)