SC quashes panel probing corruption charges during Raje tenure

SC said that proper procedure was not followed by the Rajasthan government in setting up the NN Mathur Commission and all the cases of alleged corruption could be probed by the Lokayukta.

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2011, 19:50 PM IST

New Delhi: In a relief to former Rajasthan
Chief Minister Vasundahra Raje, the Supreme Court on Monday
quashed the setting up of a commission by the Ashok Gehlot
government to inquire into cases of alleged corruption during
her tenure.

A bench of Justices DK Jain and HL Dattu said proper
procedure was not followed by the state government in setting
up the NN Mathur Commission and all the cases of alleged
corruption could be probed by the Lokayukta.

The bench dismissed the petition of the state government
which had approached the apex court challenging Rajasthan High
Court`s order setting aside the appointment of the commission.

Declaring the constitution of the Commission illegal, the
High Court had directed that all the cases of corruption
pending before the Mathur Commission be referred to Lokayukta.

The Gehlot government had constituted the NN Mathur
Inquiry Commission by an order on January 23, 2009, to inquire
into charges of abuse of power, loss to the state exchequer
and corruption including misconduct, irregularities and
misappropriation of funds from 2004 to 2008 when Raje was
chief minister of the state.

Challenging the High Court order, the state government
pleaded that the multi-member Commission was appointed to
maintain a high standard of administration and to reinstate
the public`s faith in governance.

It also submitted that the petition filed before the High
Court challenging the constitutional validity of the
state government order was in fact a `political` interest
litigation.

The high court had on January 4, 2010 passed its verdict
on a petition filed by Kashi Purohit and Krishan Murarilal
Asthana challenging the constitutional validity of the
government order appointing the Commission.

PTI