Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday sought quashing of the trial court order to lodge FIR against her in a graft case, contending in the Delhi High Court that such proceedings cannot be continued against a Governor.
Advocate M. Pracha, appearing for Ms. Dikshit, said as per Article 361(2) of the Constitution there is a bar on criminal proceedings against a Governor.
Ms. Dikshit is currently the Governor of Kerala and as per Article 361 (2) of the Constitution “no criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President, or the Governor of a State, in any court during his term of office”.
A bench of Justice Sunil Gaur, however, adjourned the matter to July 23 as the advocate for the complainant, BJP leader Vijender Gupta, was not present owing to some illness.
Mr. Gupta had filed a complaint alleging that Ms. Dikshit’s administration misused public funds to the tune of Rs 22.56 crore in an advertisement campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly polls and the trial court had ordered lodging of an FIR against her.
Thereafter, the then Delhi government had moved the High Court against the trial court order which was stayed.
AAP government had said Ms. Dikshit will have to defend herself as she is no more the CM and the government lacked the “locus standi” to fight for her.
Then in February 2014, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government had moved the High Court seeking to take back the appeal filed by then Congress government headed by Ms. Dikshit.
Ms. Dikshit had then moved the High Court opposing the plea of the Kejriwal government and had also sought her impleadment in the matter.
Thereafter, on February 26, the high court had said that Ms. Dikshit will have to defend herself in the graft case.
A special judge had on August 31, last year, ordered registration of FIR against Ms. Dikshit and others for offences including criminal breach of trust (section 409 IPC), criminal misappropriation of public funds and criminal misconduct under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The order had come on separate complaints filed by Mr. Gupta and RTI activist Vivek Garg against her.
Both of them had in their complaints alleged that Ms. Dikshit misused government funds in an advertisement campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly polls.