Delhi Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin, while pursuing a complaint against two municipal councillors, has found that the premises of the South Extension-Part II Community Centre were being used without any payment. Bookings for the space were made in the name of the Senior Citizens Recreation Centre, which is located in the same complex.
The complainant, Tarsem Choudhary, had on May 9 alleged irregularities in the running of the centre. He had said the daily charge was fixed at Rs. 15,000 and additional sanitation and tenting charges were also payable thereon, along with a security deposit of a Rs. 10,000.
Mr. Choudhary alleged that two councillors, Abhishek Dutt and Savita Gupta, had organised various functions at the centre without making any payments. He alleged the modus operandi was to book functions at the Senior Citizens Recreation Centre, which had no charge and came with the use of the lawns, thereby avoiding the booking of the community centre.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation assistant director Yogender Babu informed the forum that the Senior Citizens Recreation Centre and the community centre, though distinct premises, are situated within the same gated boundary. Mr. Babu said, as per their records for the functions attended by Mr. Dutt, the booking was done for the Senior Citizens Recreation Centre and not for the community centre, as alleged by the complainant.
For his part, Mr. Dutt deposed that he had not organised any function at the community centre and had only visited a health check-up camp there organised by the Senior Citizens Forum with the Rotary Club. He, however, admitted to organising another function for senior citizens on completing one year as a councillor.
In her response, Ms. Gupta said the “Holi Milan function” she attended was held in the park in front of the Senior Citizens Recreation Centre and that the community centre was not used.
The Lokayukta said: “The crux of the matter appears to be that there are no charges for the use of the Senior Citizens Recreation Centre, only permission is required for use of health check-up camp etc. However, for the use of the community centre, there are charges. The community centre booking does not separately give the charge for the use of lawns, which are inbuilt in the charge.”
Justice Sarin said a consensus was arrived at between the complainant, the respondents and the CSD Department of the Corporation that the use of the Senior Citizens Recreation Centre may not include the use of the lawns.