Delhi govt holds parleys to decide PWD minster`s fate
New Delhi: Hectic political parleys took
place here on Friday to decide the fate of Delhi PWD Minister Raj
Kumar Chauhan whose removal has been recommended by the city
Lokayukta for allegedly trying to protect a leading resort in
a tax evasion case.
Though there was no clear indication about Chauhan`s
future, the high-level meetings both at Congress party and
government were held to deliberate whether to retain or remove
In an unprecedented order, the Lokayukta yesterday
recommended to the President of India to "withdraw her
pleasure" for the Minister to continue in office as he
"misused" his official position.
Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin`s order came in a
case pertaining to Chauhan`s alleged involvement in
influencing a team of tax officials when they were carrying
out a survey at the premises of the resort in South Delhi in
February last year.
"The Minister made a telephone call to the
Commissioner of Trade of Taxes in the evening of February 20
last year a team of tax officials were carrying search and
survey at the premises of Tivoli Garden Resort to unearth huge
evasion of taxes and concealment of income," the order said.
The Lokayukta has also recommended initiation of
proceedings against the Minister in accordance with law. "It
is a case of interference in the discharge of statutory
functions under the Delhi Value Added Tax Act, 2004 during the
search and survey."
Sources said, a section of the Congress in Delhi wants
Chauhan`s ouster, considering that it was first such case in
the city where a minister`s removal has been recommended to
the President while another influential group felt that asking
the four-time MLA to step down will cost the party
"The ground on which the Lokayukta has recommended
Chauhan`s removal is not of very serious nature," a
Asked whether Chauhan will be asked to go, a source in
the Delhi Congress said the final decision on the issue will
be taken by party high command.
However, as a decision on Chauhan`s future is yet to
be taken, Ministerial aspirants have started lobbying for an
entry into the cabinet.
Chauhan, who represents Mangopuri Assembly
constituency in Outer Delhi, is considered close to Chief
Minister Sheila Dikshit and was given the Urban Development
portfolio in the recent reshuffle of the Cabinet by Dikshit.
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