Delhi Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin has dismissed a complaint against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit by a resident of Maujpur who had alleged that it was due to her recommendation that a fair price shop had been illegally allotted despite non-compliance of requisite conditions.

After getting a response from the Commissioner (Food and Supplies) in the case, the Lokayukta found no merit in the complaint.

In his order, he noted that “it needs to be recognised and understood that for the purpose of enquiry into the allegations under the Delhi Lokayukta and Upalokayukta Act, 1995, it is only the role and conduct of the respondent ‘public functionary’ which is material”.

He added that “it needs to be seen whether the public functionary has misused/abused power for gain for self or for another or has breached the norms of integrity and conduct, expected of a public functionary. The above needs to be established for constitution an allegation of misconduct”.

Any erroneous or wrong administrative decision can be challenged by the parties by invoking their remedies at law. There is not an allegation of mala fide against the respondent (Chief Minister). Perusal of the entire record does not show any overt or covert act of the respondent or exercise of undue influence in the decision making process.

Stating that every citizen has a right to make representations to the chief executive, i.e. the Chief Minister and other ministers for redressal of their grievance, Justice Sarin said “remarks on the representation of a citizen addressed to the Chief Minister – “pl. treat this sympathetically” – cannot be treated as direction for approval or its favourable decision or exercise of undue influence or putting pressure”. The Lokayukta said such a note could only mean “that the representation be considered sympathetically in accordance with the rules”. Moreover, he said, remarks of treating a citizen’s representation sympathetically without anything more cannot be made basis for a complaint against a public functionary alleging violation of norms of integrity and conduct.

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