iconimg Thursday, May 07, 2015

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, March 12, 2013
On the eve of the budget session of the Delhi assembly, the BJP on Tuesday sought the resignation of Speaker Yoganand Shastri citing "serious remarks" made against him by the Delhi Lokayukta on a complaint of alleged corruption and misuse of public funds.

Leader of Opposition in the assembly VK Malhotra, in a letter to Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna, requested him to advise Shastri to step down "on moral grounds" in the wake of remarks by Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin but the Speaker rejected the allegations and said he was ready for any kind of probe.

The complaint against Shastri has been filed by former secretary of Delhi Legislative Assembly Siddharth Rao in which he made allegations of corruption and misuse of public funds and amenities to the tune of several crores of rupees by the speaker.

Shastri vehemently rejected all the allegations and claimed that Rao was trying to "blackmail" him.

"He (Rao) is trying to blackmail me. These allegations are motivated and totally baseless. I am ready for any kind of probe. I totally reject the charges," he said.

Justice Sarin, in an order on Monday, dismissed the complaint against the Speaker for "want of jurisdiction" but brought it to the notice of Lt Governor for "action as deemed fit" while terming the allegations as of "serious nature".

"It was a matter of great shock and embarrassment for entire parliamentary fraternity when Lokayukta of Delhi Justice Manmohan Sarin passed very serious remarks in a judgement against the Speaker in a case of financial fraud and misuse of government machinery causing loss of more than Rs. 5 crore," Malhotra said.