Friday, March 31, 2023

Delhi High Court orders CBI not to act on Lokpal’s order directing probe against MCD for illegal construction

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The Delhi High Court has today ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for not to proceed with the investigation which the Lokpal ordered against the Municipal Corporation officials for illegal constructions in the city.

Justice Prathiba M Singh passed the order while hearing a plea by the MCD against the Lokpal’s orders.

The Court said that it is considering the nature of the matter, however in the meantime, the CBI will not go with the investigation..

The Court however made it clear that if there is a specific complaint received by Lokpal against other officials or unauthorised constructions, the authority will proceed as per the law.

The first information report (FIR) in the case is yet to be filed by the CBI.

Justice Singh while hearing the plea, said that initially she was reluctant to stay the order as she thought that Lokpal had found something, but Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) report showed that no inquiry has been done at this stage.

The Court said that there has been no specific allegations against concerned officials or against the MCD and other agencies as a probe cannot be ordered against an entire department.

The Court further said that the manner in which Lokpal has to proceed will arise at the later stage and, therefore, the Lokpal should file a response in the matter.

The Court then issued notice to the respondents and listed the case for further consideration on April 25.

As per the plea MCD argued that Lokpal had ordered an investigation against its officials on November 28 based on an general complaint which from December 2021 where the complainant had expressed his dissatisfaction towards obtaining data under the RTI regarding illegal and unauthorised construction in South Delhi.

The corporation said that that a blanket order directing a CBI investigation was asked for alleged unabated unauthorised constructions. .

The Civic body said that the order violates the principles of natural justice as investigation has been ordered against the public servants belonging to the MCD while they were not a party before the Lokpal in their independent and personal capacity inasmuch the criminal liability, if any, is fastened on an individual person – and not an entity as such.

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