The Delhi High Court on Monday sought the response of the Delhi Government, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Delhi Healthcare Corporation Limited upon a plea alleging that the Delhi Government incorporated the Delhi Healthcare Corporation Limited (DHCL) without the prior approval of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
The Division Bench led by Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice in the plea by a financial economist and law student seeking the institution of a Special Investigation Team probe into the alleged incorporation in contravention of several laws. It will be heard next on January 11, 2022.
The petition has been filed by one Abhijit Mishra through Advocate Payal Bahl. The plea avers that the Delhi Government incorporated the Delhi Healthcare Corporation Limited in 2016 as a public limited company, for providing non-clinical, administrative and support services to the hospital and health units on behalf of Department of Health and Family Welfare.
The plea alleges that neither the Delhi Chief Minister nor his Council of Ministers are empowered to order for such incorporation without the appropriate authorization and approval of the L-G as per the provisions laid down under the Constitution, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, as well as the the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1993.
“The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi has incorporated the Delhi Healthcare Corporation Limited without the approval and authorization of the Honorable Lt. Governor in blatant violation of the Article 239AA and 299 Constitution,” states the plea, relying on various RTI reports and public records.
The plea further alleges that the L-G has not approved allocation of funds for the incorporation of DHCL, nor has the books of accounts of DHCL been audited by the CAG since 2016 till date. It contends that the there is misappropriation of state funds for the incorporation of DHCL by the ruling government, affecting several schemes for the welfare of the people.
In light of the above, the plea seeks direction to the CAG to audit the accounts, functions and role of DHCL and to submit the report to the L-G. The plea further seeks a direction to the L-G to take appropriate action against the erring officials of the Delhi Government for defrauding the state’s fund; and to instruct Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing to initiate criminal investigation proceeding for criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of state funds against such officials.