New Delhi: Delhi Lokayukta on Monday ordered that no photograph of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan be carried on a form offering loan at low rates to entrepreneurs from SC, ST, OBC and minority communities.
The order by Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin came in response to a complaint filed last year by BJP leader Harsh Vardhan who objected to publication of the photographs on the loan form, saying it was aimed at getting "undue political gain" from intended beneficiaries.
"Issue an `advisory` to the Chief Minister of Delhi and the concerned Minister to desist from printing their photographs on the loan application forms under the Dilli Swarojgar Yojna," Justice Sarin said in the order.
Seeking blocking of photographs of Dikshit and Chouhan on the forms, the Lokayukta recommended to President Pranab Mukherjee that a direction be issued to the city government to frame appropriate guidelines for issuance of advertisements, hoardings etc featuring photographs of public functionaries.
"Direct the government of Delhi to frame appropriate guidelines that would govern the issuance of advertisements, hoardings etc containing photographs and images of public functionaries even during the period when model code is not applicable so as to conform to the norms of conduct and integrity expected of `public functionaries`," the Lokayukta said in the order.
Delhi government had launched Dilli Swarojgar Yojna in September last year under which youths from SC, ST, OBC and minority communities were to be given loan up to Rs 5 lakh. The forms distributed for availing the loan carried photographs of Dikshit as well as Chouhan who is in-charge of the SC, ST department.
Harshvardhan had alleged that putting photographs of Dikshit and Chouhan on the form was against "laid-down norms". The BJP leader, in his petition, had said that in view of the impending elections, publication of the photographs was an attempt to woo voters.