New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) The Delhi Government Thursday told the Delhi High Court that the process of appointing a Lokayukta, as promised by the Aam Aadmi Party [AAP] in its election manifesto of 2020, was going on.
The submission was made in response to a public interest litigation seeking a direction to the AAP government here to appoint within one month a Lokayukta as promised by the party in its election manifesto.
Noting the submission of the counsel for Delhi government, a bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh listed the matter for further proceedings on April 29.
Petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a lawyer and Bharatiya Janta Party leader, has stated that the political party came into existence after the historic anti-corruption movement but the post of Lokayukta has been lying vacant since December 2020.
Delhi government standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi submitted that a meeting was convened in this regard and a name has been recommended for the appointment, and the process is going on.
The petitioner has alleged that the Delhi government is not taking steps to weed out the menace of bribery, black money, benami property, tax evasion, profiteering and other economic as well as white-collar offences and therefore, being the protector of fundamental rights, the court has to intervene in the matter of the appointment of a Lokayukta. “When Justice Reva Khetrapal retired as Delhi Lokayukta, the government did nothing to fill the post till date and hundreds of complaints relating to corruption are pending in the office,” the petition claimed. “The AAP was formed after the historic anti-corruption movement but the same party is not appointing the Lokayukta which confirms State’s poor performance on many fronts,” the plea submitted.
The AAP promised a stringent and effective Jan Lokpal Bill in 2015 and 2020 election manifesto but rather than enacting the law, it is not even appointing the Lokayukta under the “outdated ineffective 1995 Act and hundreds of serious complaints relating to corruption against MLAs are pending in Lokayukta Office”, the petition has submitted.
The petitioner sought to direct the Delhi Government to appoint the Lokayukta in the spirit of the promises made in 2020 Election Manifesto within one month.