The Delhi High Court Tuesday asked BJP leader Vijender Gupta and police to file responses on the state government’s plea against a trial court order to register an FIR against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for alleged misuse of funds.
The government funds were allegedly misused in an advertisement campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly polls. Justice Sunil Gaur, issuing notice to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and the Delhi Police chief, also said that it will pass a detailed order on the government’s application seeking a stay on the trial court order.
The court asked Gupta and the police commissioner to file their responses by Sep 19. The Delhi government moved the court against the trial court’s Aug 31 order directing police to register a first information report (FIR) against Dikshit on the complaint of Gupta and right to information activist Vivek Garg.
The two alleged that Dikshit misused Rs.22.56 crore government funds for an advertisement campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly polls. Additional solicitor general (ASG) Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the state government, said Gupta while filing the complaint against Dikshit and seeking registration of FIR relied upon a Lokayukta report and there was no material other than that with him on the matter.
Seeking a stay on the trial court order directing registration of FIR against Dikshit, Luthra said that the complaint was “motivated and frivolous”. Gupta’s senior advocate Sanjay Jain said that initially the complaint was filed before Delhi Lokayukta, who indicted Dikshit for allegedly misusing government funds for carrying out an advertisement campaign for a “political purpose” ahead of the last assembly polls.
In his complaint, Gupta sought registration of FIR against Dikshit and others for alleged criminal breach of trust, criminal misappropriation of public funds and criminal misconduct under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Earlier, police filed a status report and said “no criminal offence is made out against the chief minister”. In his complaint, Gupta said in 2007-08, Dikshit was the chief minister of Delhi and also minister in-charge of information and publicity.
He alleged Dikshit misused “the government machinery and public funds and burdened the state exchequer in carrying out the campaign of the Congress party for her (Dikshit’s) own political gains”.