In a boost to the Sheila Dikshit government ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Delhi High Court on Friday quashed a Lokayukta order asking it produce tender records of purchase of 625 low-floor buses from Tata Motors.
In October, a month before the Assembly elections, former BJP MLA Vijay Jolly, who eventually lost to Sheila Dikshit from New Delhi Constituency, had moved the Lokayukta seeking a probe into the alleged “Rs 153.36-crore scam in the purchase of these buses”.
Justice S. Ravindra Bhat had stayed the order on Feb 3.
Justice Bhat observed that before summoning the documents, the Lokayukta, Justice Manmohan Sarin, ought to have “first decided on the question of maintainability of the complaint”.
Jolly had alleged that each of the buses had been purchased at an inflated price of over Rs 25 lakh and this had caused a loss of Rs 153.36 crore to the public exchequer.
Jolly said a comparison with the cost of such buses purchased by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (Chennai) Limited has revealed that while a total of 490 such buses were purchased by it from Ashok Leyland Ltd at an average price of less than Rs 16.80 lakh.
Government counsel Najmi Waziri said the Lokayukta had acted beyond his jurisdiction.