Probe against CM as per the book: Lokayukta

Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta Justice PP Naolekar said his agency was not going "soft" in the probe against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta Justice PP Naolekar said his agency was not going "soft" in the probe against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his eight
ministers in the dumper purchase case.

"We are carrying out the probe against Chouhan and his eight ministers according to the book. We are not soft on anyone in our probes," Lokayukta told a new agency in an interview.

"We rely on evidence and it takes time to gather legal proof against those holding high positions", Naolekar said.

"If any one comes to us with a complaint backed with some evidence against ministers, they are welcome. We will carry out probes to the logical end as what matters to us is
legal evidence which can stand in the court," he said.

"We take time to build a strong case against the accused in the probes and that`s why our conviction rate was 70 percent high," the Lokayukta remarked.

Justice Naolekar, who is a retired Supreme Court judge, said that faith in Lokayukta-the special establishment of police formed to check corruption-was increasing, as more
and more people have started approaching their organisation with complaints.

In the last one year, the number of complaints reaching us has gone up considerably," the Lokayukta said.

Asked whether he was satisfied with the powers given to Lokayukta, Justice Naolekar said that he felt that his recommendation to the government in cases should be made

"If we carry out an initial inquiry against an official and after recording the statement of complainant and defendant, and thereafter ask the government for action like Departmental Enquiry (DE) or other things against him/her, my suggestion should be honoured," Justice Naolekar, who completed one year in the office on June 1, said.

On the staff shortage in the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta police, Justice Naolekar said that efforts were on to fill one vacant post each of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)
and SP.

Similarly, he said that they were short of all seven Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) and Inspectors. All these vacant posts will be filled in a month or two, he added.

He said that they were extra cautious in deputing police personnel into their organisation. "We see that the record of the people coming to us is without a blemish. When asked that the state police officers were reluctant to serve in the Lokayukta, he said that he was of the view that they should be lured with ranks.

"I think if a Sub-Inspector of police is made Inspector in Lokayukta, he will be glad to join us," he added.

"When he returns to police department, he should then again be made SI," the Lokayukta said.

About eradication of corruption from society, he said that people should come forward and stop bribing to get their work done within a short time.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Chouhan, his wife Sadhana Singh were facing the Lokayukta probe in the dumper purchase case after they were booked under 420 and other sections of the IPC in November 2007 following a court`s order.

Chouhan`s eight cabinet colleagues including – Kailash Vijaywargiya, Ajay Vishnoi, Jayant Malaiya and some others are facing the Lokayukta probe.