The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed a plea which claimed that a Lokayukta report suggesting “cautioning” of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was “diluted”. The Lokayukta report recommended to the president to issue “caution” to Dikshit for allegedly misrepresenting facts about the completion of 60,000 low-cost flats ahead of the 2008 assembly polls. A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru rejected the plea filed by advocate Sunita Bhardwaj, saying the procedure followed by the competent authority (the president and the union home ministry) in cautioning the officials instead of Dikshit was not “faulty”.
The Lokayukta report was referred by the president to the union home ministry which had sought views of the Delhi Lt.Governor and the chief minister. On receiving their views, the ministry Nov 11, 2011, passed an order cautioning Delhi government officials instead of Dikshit. It took the view that there was no evidence of any malafide intention on the part of chief minister at the time of giving a statement on completion of the low-cost flats. According to the petition, the competent authority (the home ministry) instead of “cautioning” Dikshit, “diluted” the report of the Lokayukta and asked the city government officials to be more careful in future. It sought the ministry’s order be set aside.
The court dismissed Bhardwaj’s contention that the competent authority did not follow the procedure while dealing with the Lokayukta report. “The course adopted in the present case is in consonance with the principle of nature justice and the procedure followed by the competent authority cannot be regarded as faulty,” it said, accepting the arguments of Delhi government that the ministry did not find anything against the chief minister. The Delhi Lokayukta July 18, 2011, sent a report to the Lt. Governor, who sent it to the president, recommending the issuance of caution against Dikshit and advising her to be more careful while issuing statements for publication. Despite knowing that the 60,000 flats were incomplete, Dikshit allegedly made the announcement that they were ready, the petition said.