Explain status of Delhi Lokayukta appointment, asks HC

The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the central government to apprise it about the appointment of Lokayukta in the national capital. The post has been lying vacant since June last year.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the central government to apprise it about the appointment of Lokayukta in the national capital. The post has been lying vacant since June last year.

Hearing a PIL, a division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain to take instructions from the central government on the appointment.

The PIL sought direction to appoint a Lokayukta or extend the tenure of Justice Manmohan Sarin, the former Lokayukta chairperson.

Posting the matter for Sep 17, the bench asked the ASG about "the procedure to be followed for appointment of the Lokayukta".

"Take instructions from the government and we will take necessary action," the bench said.

The PIL was filed against Okhla legislator Asif Muhammad Khan for allegedly misusing public funds on beautification of a graveyard instead of providing basic facilities in his area.

The plea, filed by Kamran Siddiqui, said Khan should be restrained from misusing funds.

It sought extension of the tenure of Justice Sarin as he had started inquiries in related cases and these were in the last stages when his tenure ended.

On behalf of Siddiqui, lawyer Kamran Malik alleged that the legislator was facing 17 criminal cases, most of which were of assault on government officials and encroaching upon land belonging to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

The petition said the legislator was misusing the Member of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development (MLA-LAD) fund for the beautification of a graveyard in Batla House area.

Mallik said Rs.2.8 crore was being used on demolishing and rebuilding a boundary wall which was in good condition.

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