The Supreme Court has declined to interfere with the Rajasthan High Court judgment transferring cases of alleged corruption during the Vasundhara Raje government, being probed by a State government-appointed Commission, to the Lokayukta.
A Bench of Justices D.K. Jain and H.L. Dattu dismissed a special leave petition filed by the State government challenging the High Court's order, which set aside the constitution of the Justice N. N. Mathur Commission of Inquiry.
In its order, the Bench said “No ground is made out for our interference with the impugned judgment under Article 136 of the Constitution.”The High Court had directed the transfer of investigation to the Lokayukta to draw its findings and recommendations in respect of charges against the former Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje; former Ministers and some retired government servants.
The SLP said the High Court was not justified in referring all works of the Commission to the Lokayukta as it was the prerogative and within the power of the government to appoint the Commission.
The government felt that the setting up of the Commission was necessary in keeping with the people's demand for maintaining high standards of public administration to restore the confidence of the people in the governance, the SLP said.On Monday, the Bench took serious note of the State government filing an appeal against the High Court order. Justice Jain observed: “Why have you filed this appeal? How is the State government aggrieved if an illegal commission has been closed and a statutory authority like the Lokayukta asked to investigate any charge of corruption if there exists any material on record? The State government has got no cause of action to challenge such a fair order. You must not undermine institutions like the Lokayukta in a State by framing illegal commissions or fact finding inquiry committees when the Lokayukta is there to take care of it.”
State counsel said it was a policy decision of the government to have the corruption charges against the previous government inquired into. “We want to establish the evidence first before proceeding further.” Disagreeing with this stand, Justice Dattu said: “We fail to understand what prevented the State government from having recourse to the legal provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Act as also the Rajasthan Lokayukta. We can't appreciate that a commission has been constituted by a State government with funds from the public exchequer bypassing the law.”