At a time when strong demands are being made by activists for a Jan Lokpal bill with stringent powers to deal with corruption cases, the Delhi Lokayukta has lashed out at the state government for creating legal hurdles in compliance with its directions in ongoing inquiries.
"Any institution that is created to check and contain corruption has to face opposition from those upon whom it exercises jurisdiction. Our experience has been no different," Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin said in the annual report for 2009-10.
The Lokayukta has cited the case of a complaint filed by former BJP MLA Vijay Jolly against chief minister Sheila Dikshit where the Lokayukta had asked the government to produce records of the decision-making process, which was challenged by the government before the Delhi high court. "Instead of producing the records, they challenged the order of this forum before the high court wherein a learned single judge, interalia, directed that the Lokayukta could summon the records only after notice had been issued to the Respondent 'Public Functionary' the report said.
The order was set aside by a division bench of the high court after the office of Lokayukta filed an appeal.
The Lokayukta has said the stand taken by the Delhi government makes deep dent into its claim of transparency and openness. "Its reluctance and resistance to produce records raises doubts regarding the motive and intention of public functionaries and public servants holding key positions in the government," the report provided under RTI to activist SC Agrawal said.
It cited three cases wherein direction of the Lokayukta to produce records were challenged by government departments in courts just because the head of corporation or department was an IAS officer. While there is no Lokpal at the Centre, 18 states, including Delhi, have Lokayukta. "Public functionaries are yet to reconcile with the fact that this institution has a statutory mandate to inquire into allegations against them," the Lokayukta said.