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Lokayukta sends notice to Akali Dal councillor

Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar
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Had got road outside complainant’s car service station dug up when he refused to employ his representative

Above the law?:Dug-out portion of the road in front of a Hyundai car service station in Vikaspuri.
Above the law?:Dug-out portion of the road in front of a Hyundai car service station in Vikaspuri.

An automobile service station owner in West Delhi learnt the hard way that the writ of “lawless sultans” runs in Delhi when the area councillor got the road outside his premises dug up as he refused to “employ” his representative on a monthly “salary” of Rs.18,000 and a Rs. 100 per car “commission”, Delhi Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin has said.

Mr. Justice Sarin, while issuing a notice to Deputy Commissioner (MCD), West Delhi, and the respondent councillor, Dimple Chadha, who is also national vice-president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), noted that when the complainant Yash Pal Arora, owner of “Xpert Service Hyundai Outlets”, opened his service station in Vikaspuri, he soon “realised that he needed a protective hand of the local area Councillor to survive and continue his business”.

In the complaint, Mr. Arora had alleged that a few days after the service station was opened on December 23, 2012, Mr. Chadha had “started pressuring him into putting up his hoardings on the building. Per-force with a view to avoid complication they put up the hoarding”.

But then on January 11, he claimed that “a person claiming to be a representative of Mr. Chadha, came and introduced another person saying that the latter would be present at the outlet and keep a track on all the cars that are serviced”.

Mr. Arora said he “refused to entertain the said person and asked them to leave the office”. However, later in the afternoon, he said the Councillor with his armed men and about eight to nine persons started intimidating and abusing them.

“He demanded that the complainant pay a salary of Rs.18,000 to the appointed person and Rs.100 per vehicle that is received in the outlet as a condition for smooth functioning of the outlet,” the complainant said.

The Lokayukta said Mr. Arora had filed the complaint along with the CD of the above incident as captured by the CCTV cameras installed in his premises. He also told the Lokayukta that a written complaint was also filed by him before the Deputy Commissioner, MCD, West Delhi, and at Tilak Nagar police station on the same date. An FIR (No. 25/2013) was subsequently registered on January 15.

However, as per the complaint before the Lokayukta, on February 14, “some persons from MCD came outside the outlet along with police assistance and started destroying the approach road to the outlet. When complainant asked and enquired about any authority for carrying out the work, they refused to show any order.”

The service station owner alleged that one Mr. J. P. Gupta and Mr. D. Dogra, carried out the demolition of the approach road. The complainant was helpless and sought assistance by dialling the Police Control Room at 100. However, by the time police reached, the portion of approach road to the outlet had been destroyed.

The Lokayukta said as per the complaint, even the efforts by Mr. Arora to get the road repaired were thwarted by the MCD employees. Again he called the Delhi Police at 100 but when the PCR staff tried to talk to the Councillor, he threatened them too for trying to help the complainant.

Mr. Justice Sarin said the “complainant claims that this factum was also recorded by the said policeman in his record”. Further, he said, the “allegations in the complaint are supported by an affidavit”.

The Lokayukta said “based on the allegations made in the complaint supported by the CD of the CCTV recordings and photographs showing respondent and his men approaching the complainant showroom/work shop, as also complaint before the Deputy Commissioner, MCD West, and SHO and the FIR on the record”, a prima facie case for action is made out against the Councillor. He thus issued a notice to him, which is returnable on March 20.

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