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Delhi Government Appoints Lokayukta After Court Order

The Delhi government informed the Delhi High Court on Thursday that the national capital’s Lokayukta had been appointed and that, as a result, the request for a directive on the appointment of the ombudsman had become infructuous. A bench consisting of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad dismissed the petition after taking note of the development. The AAP government was being ordered by the court to appoint a Lokayukta as promised by the party in its 2020 election programme as part of a 2022 public interest litigation.
Santosh Kumar Tripathi, standing counsel for the Delhi government, told the court right away that the petition had become infructuous because the Lokayukta had been appointed in March last year. It is regrettable, according to the petitioner’s attorney, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, that the Lokayukta was only constituted following his court plea. The court was informed that Justice Harish Chandra Mishra, a retired judge from the Jharkhand High Court, has been chosen to serve as the Lokayukta in the capital. The Delhi Government had informed the high court in February of last year that the selection process for a Lokayukta was ongoing and that a name had been suggested for the position.
According to the petitioner, the Delhi government is failing to take action to combat the threat of bribery, black money, benami property, tax evasion, profiteering, and other economic and white-collar crimes. As the guardian of fundamental rights, the court must therefore step in and intervene in the Lokayukta appointment process. The petition argued that hundreds of corruption-related allegations are still sitting in the office because the government did nothing to fill the position when Judge Reva Khetrapal retired as the Delhi Lokayukta.
“The AAP promised a strict and effective Jan Lokpal Bill in its 2015 and 2020 election manifestos, but instead of implementing the law, it is not even appointing the Lokayukta under the outdated and ineffective 1995 Act; also, thousands of serious complaints relating to corruption against MLAs are currently pending in the Lokayukta Office,” it claimed. A directive to the Delhi government to appoint the Lokayukta in accordance with the commitments made in the 2020 Election Manifesto within a month was requested by the petitioner.

Ahir Mitra
Ahir Mitra

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