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HC restrains CBI from acting on Lokpal order in Delhi civic body case

The ombudsman’s order was challenged by the MCD. (agent)

New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court today restrained the CBI from proceeding with the Lokpal probe order against officials of the MCD and other departments for allowing unauthorized constructions in South Delhi and other areas. The ombudsman’s order was challenged by the MCD.

“Considering the issue raised by the petitioner, issue notice to the respondents, file brief affidavit within four weeks and rejoinder within two weeks,” Justice Pratibha M Singh said.

“The CBI will not proceed on the impugned order of the Lokpal,” Justice Singh said.

However, the court said that there will be no stay on the investigation related to illegal construction in South Delhi and other parts of Delhi.

The court said that this is only a prima facie view and it will have no bearing on the merits of the case. The matter has been listed for further hearing on April 25.

The High Court took note of the submission of Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), that before directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to initiate an inquiry against the public servants of the MCD, the Lokpal should take prior permission of the Lokpal. Is required. Delhi Govt.

The High Court also noted that no inquiry was conducted by the CVC or the Lokpal in the matter. The CVC was only asked to obtain the report from the Vigilance Department of the MCD regarding unauthorized constructions.

On the other hand, advocate Apoorva Kurup, appearing for Lokpal, submitted that the notice was issued before the investigation and reply was filed. Not satisfied with the reply, orders for inquiry were issued.

The civic body has challenged the ombudsman’s direction for a CBI probe against the civic body’s official.

On December 23, the high court refused to stay the Lokpal order directing a CBI probe against MCD officials.

The Lokpal ordered a CBI inquiry on the basis of a complaint against alleged illegal and unauthorized constructions in Delhi.

During the hearing, senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the consent of an institution like MCD, which is partly funded by the state government, has to be taken.

The bench had earlier said, “The Lokpal consists of three members including a retired High Court judge… Once the Lokpal has considered the matter, there are certain reasons. I have to hear them.. If you But let’s make the matter on the next date, I will stay the proceedings.”

The counsel for the MCD had argued that if a CBI inquiry is ordered in the present matter and by the same logic an inquiry should be ordered against the police for the crime in Delhi, then no one would be able to do their job.

Expressing concern, the court said, “MCD cannot be compared with Delhi Police. Its engineers are a problem. Unauthorized construction, encroachment, everything happens. Something has to be done.”

Lokpal started action on the complaint of Vikram Singh Saini, former general secretary of Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha. He lodged a complaint in December 2021 alleging that some “illegal constructions” in South Delhi were due to their (engineers) conduct.

The MCD, on the other hand, had denied the allegations and its petition claimed that the complainant has filed a “frivolous, baseless and vague complaint” to the Ombudsman. There is no allegation of corrupt practices.

The plea states that the Lokpal passed an “absolute order” in 2020-21 on the basis of an “incoherent and general complaint” regarding illegal constructions in South Delhi.

The petition states that the data shows a “steady decline” in unauthorized constructions in the South Zone and that the authorities are discharging their duties effectively.

The petition said, “This fact is also evident from the data of the year 2018. It shows that out of 1,141 properties booked, 606 were demolished, 223 were sealed, 326 were prosecuted and all such properties Letters were issued in

The MCD has argued that the order passed by the Lokpal violates the principles of natural justice as the inquiry was ordered against MCD officials who were not party to it.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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