Court asks Delhi government to spell Lokayukta jurisdiction

April 17th, 2009 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday issued a notice to the city government to explain the jurisdiction of the Lokayukta, the anti-corruption authority.
The notice was issued after the Lokayukta (ombudsman) appealed against a single-judge bench’s ruling that set aside Lokayukta order asking the Delhi government to produce the documents related to the purchase of 625 low-floor CNG buses for the state-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah Friday asked the Delhi government to reply by May 12.

In its appeal, Lokayukta asked to be told the reach of its jurisdiction and said if the government put forth such barriers, it would hamper its functioning.

Last month, the single-judge bench made it clear that the Lokayukta cannot seek documents for investigation.

The court also directed the Lokayukta to consider the objections of the government before deciding on a complaint of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, who alleged corruption in the purchase of the buses.

The court observed that the Lokayukta should not seek verification of documents without finding a prima facie case.

The petition alleged that the buses were bought at an inflated price of Rs.2.5 million each.

In a Jan 28 order, Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin had served an ultimatum to the state’s transport secretary to personally produce documents relating to the purchase of non-AC low-floor buses.

The anti-corruption authority had cautioned the government of action under various sections of the Indian Penal Code which prescribes imprisonment of six months or a fine.

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