Lokayukta indicts one more in illegal construction sting

Lokayukta indicts one more in illegal construction sting

The Delhi Lokayukta on Tuesday indicted former Municipal Corporation of Delhi councillor Manju Gupta of “misconduct” and recommended Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna to issue a ‘censure’ to Gupta.

Gupta, along with her husband, was seen willing to facilitate unauthorised and illegal construction in a sting operation by a news channel in December 2011. Justice Manmohan Sarin had taken a suo moto cognisance of the news report, which had also appeared in newspapers on December 7, 2011.

In the footage, Gupta and her husband were seen having a conversation with the reporter, who was posing as a builder. The conversation hovers around the issue of raising illegal constructions in the constituency of the councillor. She offered help for monetary gain.

“After completing the inquiry, it was found that Gupta has committed misconducted and has transgressed the norms of integrity and conduct,” said Justice Sarin.

While recommending ‘censure’ to the erring councillor, Justice Sarin expressed dismay at the growing menace of unauthorised construction in the Capital. He observed that the menace has entered the bloodstream of Delhi.

“The unabated growth of unauthorised construction is due to lack of enforcement and implementation of municipal laws on account of complicity of municipal staff and other officials,” said Justice Sarin.

He said a public functionary cannot escape punishment if found guilty of misconduct only because of the reason that he or she ceased to hold office. The administration of penalties, caution and censure is required to clean public office, said Justice Sarin in his order.

At least eight councillors have been caught on camera talking about allowing or encouraging illegal constructions.The Lokayukta recommended issuing ‘censure’ in the case of six councillors, including Gupta.

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