Court reserves order on Lokayukta plea on low floor buses

May 12th, 2009 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Tuesday reserved its order on the appeal of Lokayukta, the anti-corruption authority, against the Delhi government on 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 and Justice Neeraj Kishan Kaul reserved the order after hearing the contention of the government that challenged the maintainability of the Lokayukta petition and termed it politically motivated.

The government also stated that the documents included in the petition were of semi-low floor buses but in Delhi only low-floor buses are functional and the same has been ordered.

The counsel for the government pleaded that if the petitioner was found guilty of citing wrong facts to the court he should be prosecuted under section 9 (2) of the Lokayukta act under which there is a provision of three years imprisonment.

In its appeal, Lokayukta asked to be told the reach of its jurisdiction and said if the government puts 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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