Commends Councillor Surekha Gupta for bringing the issue to the attention of L-G
Delhi Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin has recommended adoption of a procedure in terms of Section 16 of the Delhi Lokayukta and Upalokayukta Act, 1995, to the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor, stating it would be useful in preventing rampant unauthorised constructions in the Capital and also curb resultant corruption and malpractices.
Delivering an order in a complaint against Councillor Surekha Gupta alleging that she was misusing municipal funds for unauthorised construction in a house in Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk, the Lokayukta said the inquiry did not show her involvement and rather it was noted that upon conclusion of the hearing in the matter she had written to the Lieutenant-Governor about the rampant illegal construction in her Ward No. 80.
While commending the Councillor for raising the issue and bringing it to the attention of the Lieutenant-Governor, the Lokayukta outlined the steps that could be followed for curbing illegal constructions.
He suggested that information should be given by “beat constable or other police personnel when they notice unauthorised construction, by stacking of building material or otherwise, to the local office of the Corporation within a day after making an entry in the Daily Diary’’.
Similarly, Mr. Justice Sarin said, the SHO should send on a fortnightly basis a consolidated list of unauthorised constructions to the Executive Engineer (Building) for necessary follow-up action and a copy to the Municipal Councillor concerned.
The Lokayukta has further demanded that the engineer concerned should be made responsible for inspection of ongoing construction at the sites and for booking unauthorised constructions.
After issuance of notice and passing of an order of sealing, he said, intimation should be sent to the power distribution company and the Delhi Jal Board for suspension of electricity and water supply, unless a stay is granted against the sealing order by a competent court or tribunal.
Finally, the Lokayukta has suggested that the SHO and the Executive Engineer be made personally accountable for ensuring compliance with the above procedure. “Successful implementation of the above procedure be included in the criteria for evaluating performance in the Annual Confidential Reports,’’ he added.
The Lokayukta, however, did not accept the suggestion regarding suspension of electricity or water supply on the passing of a demolition order since there was a possibility of its misuse against citizens. “Such notices and orders are passed at the level of an Assistant Engineer while sealing orders require application of mind by an officer no less than the Deputy Commissioner,’’ he said .
Mr. Justice Sarin said the inquiry actuated by a whistle-blower has served a collateral public purpose in bringing to light unauthorised construction as well as providing an opportunity to make recommendations and suggestions to the competent authority for corrective action to be taken.