Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday moved the high court against the AAP’s plea to withdraw the erstwhile Congress government’s appeal against a trial court order for lodging a complaint against her for alleged misuse of government funds ahead of the 2008 assembly polls.
Seeking impleadment in the case, Dikshit also objected to the then Arvind Kejriwal government’s move to withdraw the plea filed by her government. Last year, the Dikshit government moved the high court, seeking quashing of the trial court order for ordering a first information report against her.
The high court then suspended the registration of the FIR. Justice VP Vaish will hear the matter on Wednesday. Kejriwal, hours before his resignation as chief minister, moved the high court on 14 February, saying the cabinet has taken a decision that in corruption cases, the government will not defend anyone.
The Aam Aadmi Party said the cabinet has taken a decision that it has no more locus standi to defend Dikshit. A special court on 31 August directed Delhi Police to register an FIR against Dikshit on the complaint of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vijender Gupta and a similar plea of Right to Information activist Vivek Garg, alleging that Dikshit had misused Rs 22.56 crore in government funds in an advertisement campaign prior to the then assembly polls.
They sought registration of an FIR against Dikshit and others for alleged criminal breach of trust (Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code), criminal misappropriation of public funds and criminal misconduct under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
They said Dikshit was chief minister and also minister in-charge of information and publicity when the alleged fund misuse took place in 2007-08. Gupta, in his complaint, said it was an election year and a number of government advertisements were published in newspapers. The BJP leader said he filed a complaint before Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin, who indicted Dikshit for misusing government funds for carrying out an advertisement campaign with a “political purpose” ahead of the polls.
He said the Lokayukta recommended to President Pranab Mukherjee to caution Dikshit for the alleged misuse of public funds and to “advise” her to reimburse either by herself or through her party a sum of Rs 11 crore as half the cost of the advertisements in 2008 or any amount the president found adequate.