Low floor buses scam: Decks cleared for probe | india | Hindustan Times
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Low floor buses scam: Decks cleared for probe

india Updated: May 15, 2009 00:27 IST
HT Correspondent

Delhi High Court on Thursday cleared the way for Lokayukta to scrutinise documents related to the purchase of low-floor buses.

Lokayukta is a recommendatory body, which probes corruption charges against public functionaries.
The court upheld the Lokayukta’s direction to Delhi’s state transport department to produce before it documents pertaining to the purchase of 625 low-floor buses from Tata Motors.

The case

In October, a month before the 2008 Assembly elections, former BJP MLA Vijay Jolly, who eventually lost to Sheila Dikshit from New Delhi Assembly constituency, had moved Lokayukta seeking a probe into the alleged Rs 153.36-crore scam in the purchase of the buses.

Jolly had alleged that each bus had been purchased at an inflated price of over Rs 25 lakh.
Consequently, Lokayukta had asked the government to produce all the purchase records before it on May 18.

Initial setback

Quashing the order summoning the records, a single judge had ruled that Lokayukta had acted beyond its jurisdiction.

Justice Ravindra Bhat had ruled on March 13 that Lokayukta ought to have first decided on the question of maintainability of the complaint.

But acting on an appeal filed by Lokayukta, a division bench of Chief Justice AP Shah and Justice NK Kaul ruled on Thursday that Lokayukta was a statutory body with every right to conduct a preliminary inquiry into any complaint it received.

The judges said Lokayukta could call for documents, and directed the Delhi government to provide those it had sought.