Delhi Lokayukta issues notices to Dikshit, PWD Minister

Delhi Lokayukta issues notices to Dikshit, PWD Minister

The Delhi Lokayukta today issued showcause notices to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chouhan asking why probe should not be held against them for publication of their photographs on a form to offer loan to youths for SC, ST, OBC and minority communities.

Asking Dikshit and Chouhan to reply to the notices by December 10, Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin also restrained the Delhi Government from further printing of the forms featuring the two leaders.

The order came in response to a complaint filed last month by BJP leader Harsh Vardhan who objected to publication of the photographs on the loan form, saying it was aimed at getting "undue political gain" from the intended beneficiaries.

Justice Sarin examined official documents pertaining to the decision making process for printing of the forms featuring the Chief Minister and the PWD Minister before issuing the order.

"Considering the matter in the background of the averments and submissions made during the arguments for issuance of notice, prima facie a case for issuance of notice is made out," the Lokayukta said.

The Delhi government had launched Dilli Swarojgar Yojna last month under which youths from SC, ST, OBC and minority communities will be given loan up to Rs 5 lakh. The forms distributed for availing the loan carried photographs of Dikshit as well as Chouhan, who is in-charge of the SC, ST department.

"It may be observed that it is time when appropriate norms and guidelines are formulated and laid down for dealing in such mattes so that our cherished ethical values and probity are maintained," Justice Sarin said in the order.

Harshvardhan alleged that putting photographs of Dikshit and Chouhan on the form was against "laid down norms". The BJP leader said in view of the impending elections, publication of the photographs was an attempt to woo the voters.

In the order, Lokayukta, quoting the government records said earlier officials of Delhi SC, ST, OBC, Minorities, Handicapped Financial and Development Corporation had proposed printing of the forms without any photographs but Chouhan had asked them to obtain sample forms from Food and Supply department and directed them to print the forms on the same pattern.

Following this direction, sample of the forms issued for getting benefits under the Delhi Kerosene Free city scheme was obtained which carried the photograph of Dikshit and Minister for Food and Supply Haroon Yusuf.

"The said note was duly signed by the Minister and the Chief Minister, pursuant thereto photographs of the Chief Minister and Minister on the loan application form were printed for distribution," the order said.

Officials said government has created a corpus of Rs 100 crore to provide loans under the scheme being implemented by Delhi SC, ST, OBC, Minorities, Handicapped Financial and Development Corporation.