The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to not proceed with a probe ordered by the Lokpal of India against the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and its officials over certain alleged unauthorised constructions in the city.
Justice Prathiba M Singh issued notice on the MCD’s challenge to the Lokpal order directing a CBI probe and sought response from the authority.
The judge said that as per the law, there has to be preliminary investigation by an agency to ascertain whether a prima facie case is made out to proceed further and in the present case, there was no inquiry by the Lokpal or CVC before the direction for an investigation was passed and no specific allegations were raised against any parties.
“In the present case, the record would show that the CVC was merely asked to obtain a report from the MCD. The vigilance report of the MCD has been forwarded by CVC to Lokpal. In effect therefore, there has been no inquiry by CVC or Lokpal at this stage. No specific allegations have been raised against officials concerned or against the MCD and other agencies,” said the court.
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“In the meantime, the CBI shall not proceed with the investigation,” it ordered.
The court, however, clarified that if a specific complaint is received by the Lokpal against other officials or unauthorised constructions, there would be no interdiction on the authority proceeding as per the law.
The court also said that it was only expressing a prima facie view in the matter.
The CBI counsel said the agency was yet to register an FIR on the basis of the order of the Lokpal.
The proceedings before the Lokpal arose from a December 2021 complaint by Vikram Singh Saini, former General Secretary of Samajwadi Yuvjan Sabha, alleging that there were some ”illegal constructions” in an area in South Delhi on account of the conduct of certain officials.
MCD and these officials had approached the high court against the Lokpal order directing the CBI probe last year.
In the petition filed through lawyer Sanjay Vashisht, the MCD and its officials have claimed that the complainant, without following the requisite procedure, filed a “frivolous, unsubstantiated and a vague complaint” to the Lokpal and the same does not even make allegations with respect to corrupt activities.
It has submitted that the Lokpal passed a “blanket order” on the basis of an “incoherent and general complaint” with respect to illegal constructions in South Delhi in 2020-21.