Exactly a week after Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit "rewarded" him with important portfolios, urban development minister Rajkumar Chauhan's job seems to be in danger.
Criticising the minister for trying to influence a team of sales tax officers — which was examining a case of possible tax evasion at a resort in south Delhi — the Delhi Lokayukta has recommended the removal of Chauhan from the council of ministers.
This is the first time that the Lokayukta has recommended the removal of a Delhi minister.
"In his order, the Lokayukta has recommended to the President of India to withdraw her pleasure in allowing Chauhan to continue as a minister in the Delhi Government," a Lokayukta official said.
Quoting the order pronounced by Justice Manmohan Sarin, the official said the President is the competent authority to withdraw pleasure from the Minister to hold office under clause five of Article 239 (AA) of the Constitution of India and Section 12 of Delhi Lokayukta-Uplokayukta Act, 1995.
The Lokayukta has also recommended prosecution of the Minister under various sections of the Delhi Value Added Tax Act, 2004.
The Lokayukta had taken suo motu notice of media reports that the then sales tax commissioner — Jalaj Shrivastava — had written to the Delhi Government, saying that the minister had asked him to recall the enforcement team from the survey.
Rajkumar Chauhan did not reply to telephone calls made by HT, he told a news agency, “"I am a public representative. I always try to help people. I may have made the call to help somebody who had asked me for some favour," he told PTI.