Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today briefed Congress President Sonia Gandhi about Delhi Lokayukta’s recommendation to sack city minister Raj Kumar Chauhan for allegedly trying to protect a resort in a tax evasion case.
Sources said Ms. Dikshit was called by Ms. Gandhi to get a first hand account of the entire issue involving Mr. Chauhan, whose fate continues to hang in balance.
“The Chief Minister briefed Ms. Gandhi about the issue,” they told PTI.
In an unprecedented order, the Delhi Lokayukta had last week recommended sacking of PWD Minister Mr. Chauhan from the Cabinet for trying to protect a leading resort in a tax evasion case, holding him guilty of “misconduct” of “grave nature”.
The sources said fate of Mr. Chauhan, who is considered close to Ms. Dikshit, will be decided by the central leadership and it may take some more time for a final decision on the issue.
Although there is an indication that Mr. Chauhan may be asked to resign, several senior leaders in Delhi Congress are opposed to his removal saying that asking him to go would set a bad precedent as similar situation may arise in future.
Sources said the entire issue will require legal scrutiny as the recommendation has been sent to the President.
In his order, Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin recommended to the President of India to “withdraw her pleasure” for the minister to continue in office as he “misused” his official position.
Justice Sarin’s order had come in a case pertaining to Mr. Chauhan’s alleged involvement in influencing a team of tax officials when they were carrying out a survey at the premises of the resort in South Delhi in February last year.
Ms. Dikshit has been maintaining silence on the entire issue and did not respond to any query.
In his defence, Mr. Chauhan said as public representative, he gets lots of calls from people requesting for favours and he only responded to such a call.
The BJP has already launched an agitation demanding immediate dismissal of Mr. Chauhan and handing over of the entire case to the CBI.
Meanwhile, several ministerial aspirants have started lobbying with Ms. Dikshit to push forward their candidacy for a berth in the cabinet in case Mr. Chauhan is removed.