Delhi Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin has asked Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and SC/ST Welfare Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan to explain by December 12 why they should not be probed after their photographs appeared on application forms for loans under the Dilli Swarojgar Yojna.
Sarin said it was expected that the two would not print their pictures on other forms till the matter was pending for hearing.
The Delhi government launched the Dilli Swarojgar Yojna last month. Under the scheme, youths from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes and minority communities - whose family incomes are less than R2 lakh per annum - are to be given loans of up to R5 lakh. The Delhi State SC/SC/OBC/Minority and Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (DSFDC) is sanctioning the loans.
The Lokayukta issued a notice to the duo on a complaint by the BJP legislator from Krishna Nagar, Dr Harshvardhan, who alleged that Dikshit and Chauhan, who is also the public works minister, were using the DSFDC to better electoral prospects and woo voters of particular segments ahead of next year's Assembly polls in Delhi. Sarin said, "There is no reason to print these photographs. This is in conflict with norms of integrity and conduct expected to be followed by public functionaries."
He had earlier asked the DSFDC to produce records on the decision to print the photographs.
This was done to "ascertain if the chief minister and the ministers were themselves responsible for printing of the photographs or it was done by the corporation officers to show loyalty to the two". Sarin said it emerged that the minister desired that photographs be printed and a note in this regard was signed by him as well as the chief minister.
A lawyer for the BJP legislator said, "The chief minister and the minister have no role to play in the day-to-day functioning of the DSFDC."