A Delhi court on Saturday ordered registration of an FIR against chief minister Sheila Dikshit and others for allegedly misusing government funds for a pre-assembly poll advertisement campaign in 2008.
Special Judge Narottam Kaushal pronounced the order in an open court on separate complaints filed by BJP leader Vijender Gupta and RTI activist Vivek Garg against Dikshit.
Both of them in their complaints alleged that Dikshit misused government funds to the tune of R22.56 crore in an advertisement campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly polls.
They sought registration of an FIR against Dikshit and others for alleged criminal breach of trust (section 409 IPC), criminal misappropriation of public funds and criminal misconduct under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
However, Delhi government’s Director of Prosecution BS Joon had said the Lokayukta had not pointed out dishonest intention for misappropriating public money by Dikshit and since the Lokayukta has sent the recommendation to the President, his decision would be final in the matter.
The complainants had said the two status reports filed by the Delhi Police on the complaints wrongly concluded that no offence was made out against Dikshit.
The complaints said in 2007-08, Dikshit was the chief minister of Delhi and also the minister in-charge of information and publicity when the alleged misuse of funds took place.
“It was an election year. A number of government advertisements were published in the form of advertisements in newspapers. A large number of hoardings showing pictures of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Sheila Dikshit were all over Delhi Metro, bus shelters and also in the form of radio jingles, TV spots etc by misusing the government machinery and public funds... burdened the state exchequer in carrying out campaigns of the Congress party for her own political gains,” it said.
The BJP leader had said he has filed a complaint before Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin, who had on May 22, indicted chief minister Dikshit for allegedly misusing government funds for carrying out an advertisement campaign with a ‘political purpose’ ahead of the last assembly polls.
He had said the Lokayukta had also recommended to President Pranab Mukherjee to caution Dikshit for the alleged misuse of public funds and to ‘advise’ her to reimburse either herself or through her party a sum of R11 crore as half the cost of the advertisements in 2008 or any amount the President finds adequate.