Refuting the charge of shielding Public Works Department Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan in the wake of the Lokayukta's observations against him in a tax evasion case by a leading resort, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday said she had only rightfully placed on record the facts and that a final decision in the matter vests with the President.
Critical of the Opposition BJP leaders for castigating Mr. Chauhan, the Chief Minister said: “There is nothing wrong in what he had done. We all (ministers) make so many phone calls in a day and by that measure all of us can be hauled up. But the thing to look here is that there was no mala fide intention. Also the official in question, Jalaj Srivastava, had gone ahead with the raid. And there was no corruption as the department went on to collect its dues from the resort.”
In her report earlier, Ms. Dikshit had also stated that the Lokayukta case was based on “presumptions and conjectures”.
Stating that the President had sought an opinion in the matter and the Delhi Government has only placed on record the facts, Ms. Dikshit accused the BJP of trying to score political points in the matter. “You cannot convict a person like this,” she said, adding that the BJP also has no right to take a moral high ground since it has itself not acted in the matter of 30,000 ghost employees in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
“A two-Judge Bench of the Delhi High Court had delivered a scathing judgment against the BJP-run MCD and yet the party has done nothing to ameliorate the situation,” she charged.
Ms. Dikshit said the BJP's allegations that the Minister was also responsible for the mishaps and the charges of corruption being levelled with respect to the Commonwealth Games preparations were also wrong. “The policy decisions were taken by the Cabinet and the Minister only supervises the work. We used to go out for inspections but if the quality of work was not good then we had no technical expertise in the matter. However, I have stated earlier also that the officials found guilty would not be spared.”
The Chief Minister said her Government has also given its detailed replies on issues raised by the high-level committee headed by V. K. Shunglu and to the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. With the Central Bureau of Investigation taking up the Barapullah elevated corridor case, she said the Government was keen on ensuring that the truth is revealed and officials responsible for wrongdoing, if any, are punished.