HC notice to Delhi government, police chief

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice to the city government and the police commissioner on a PIL seeking direction to the Lieutenant Governor to comply with the recommendations of the Lokayukta on the issue of graft of former municipal councillors.

A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath also issued notice to the former councillors and sought their response by July 17.

The court advised against holding a fresh hearings on the corruption issues against the former councillors.

The court’s direction came on a Public Interest Litigation filed by an NGO, Common Cause which said the Lokayukta, while taking suo motu cognizance over various media reports and sting operations, had recommended legal action against the municipal councillors for their involvement in corruption.

The LG, instead of forwarding the same to police commissioner for action, has held fresh hearings and rejected Lokayukta’s report and sent back to the corruption watchdog for their re-hearing, the plea said seeking the court’s intervention in the matter.

The PIL said: “If in every case, the Lokayukta were to re-hear the matter in its entirety and arrive at contradictory findings based on such hearing, the role of Lokayukta would become untenable and the statutory function clearly ascribed to the act would be devalued.”

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the petitioner, told the court: “The LG does not have power to re-hear the corruption matters and pass a fresh order under section 12 of the Lokayukta Act… rather he should forward Lokayukta’s recommendations to police for appropriate action.”

He further added: “The LG has acted like a big monarch and passed fresh orders rejecting the recommendations of Lokayukta in the cases of former municipal councillors.”

The petition also sought a direction to the government to forward the entire records related to the complaints against former municipal councillors and Lokayukta’s report to the police commissioner for consideration and further action in accordance with law.

It further sought setting aside of the LG’s order saying the same was “unreasonable, vitiated by arbitrariness and bearing no rational nexus with the gravity and serious criminal offences that Lokayukta has found to be prima facie made out”.

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