Justice Mukta Gupta of Delhi High Court a plea by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA’s neighbour who has alleged that the illegal construction was going on despite a work-stop notice and a show cause notice being issued to him, directed South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to ensure that no further alleged illegal construction was carried out by an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator at his residence.
Court further issued notice to Delhi Government, South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from the Kasturba Nagar constituency Madan Lal for alleged unauthorised construction. Court further came heavily on SDMC for its delay in taking any action after it issued show cause notice to the legislator, asking “you want the construction to be raised fully before you demolish it?”
Court further directed the corporation to ensure that no further illegal construction took place and the demolition is carried out as per law. It is an another big blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government that, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA’s are continuously featuring in controversies.
In a big blow to the Aam Aadmi Party Government in Delhi, the Supreme Court has stayed the Delhi High Court’s observations on Delhi Government’s notification which said that the Lieutenant Governor has no power in posting and transfer of bureaucrats. The Supreme Court further observed that the High Court observations will not have any bearing on the case filed by the Delhi government challenging the Home Ministry notification.
A bench of Justices AK Sikri and UU Lalit of the Apex Court while, refusing to stay Delhi HC order allowing Anti- Corruption Bureau of Delhi to take action against officials in corruption cases, clarified that observation made by the High Court on Ministry of Home Affairs notification of May 21 was tentative in nature and it would not be binding.
The Lok Pal Bill, 2011 was introduced in Parliament on 4 August 2011. The Bill seeks to establish the office of the Lok Pal to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption. In this Brief we discuss the key features of the Bill, the powers of the Lok Pal and procedure for conducting investigation and prosecution under the Bill. We also analyse the scope of persons covered by the Lok Pal, role of the CVC and CBI, procedures of the Lok Pal, penalty against false and frivolous complaints and issues related to security of sensitive information.
Highlights of the Bill
The Bill seeks to establish the office of the Lok Pal to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption.
The Lok Pal will cover the Prime Minister after he demits office, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Group ‘A’ officers and officers of organisations which are either government aided or funded by public donations.
Any person may make a complaint against a public servant within seven years of the offence. The Bill provides a process for investigation and inquiry.
If the Lok Pal finds that an offence has been committed it may recommend disciplinary action and file a case in the Special Court.
The Bill enhances penalties for certain offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 from seven years to ten years. It also imposes penalties for false and frivolous complaints.
All expenses of the Lok Pal will be charged to the Consolidated Fund of India.
Key Issues and Analysis
Currently, the Central Vigilance Commission has jurisdiction over Group ‘A’ officers. The Lok Pal will also investigate Group ‘A’ officers. Therefore, there may be dual jurisdiction over these officers.
The Bill creates an Investigation Wing under the Lok Pal. An earlier Standing Committee had recommended against creating additional investigation agencies.
The Bill expands the definition of public servant to include certain private persons under the Lok Pal. This differs from provisions under several other Acts.
There are some gaps in the inquiry and prosecution procedure.
The Lok Pal cannot prosecute private persons who abet corruption.
The seven-year limitation on filing complaints may prevent prosecution of a two-term Prime Minister in the early years of his tenure.
The penalty prescribed for false and frivolous complaints is different from other similar laws and Bills.