Free Press Journal

Let Sheila defend herself in graft case: AAP govt to HC


New Delhi: The AAP-led government today moved the Delhi High Court to withdraw the appeal of previous Congress dispensation against a lower court order to register an FIR against former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in a corruption case.

Highlighting its stand against corruption, the government, in its plea, said the cabinet’s decision to take back the appeal, filed by the previous Congress government, has been approved by the Lt Governor and Dikshit will have to defend herself as she is no more the Chief Minister and consequently, it lacked the “locus” standi to fight for her.

“The appeal was filed by the petitioner, i.e the ‘state’ on the premise that it had the locus (standi) to defend the alleged accused person who was the then sitting C ief Minister of Delhi.

“In view of changed circumstances and formation of the new government, the then Chief Minister ceases to hold the post and therefore, the state i.e Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi no longer has the locus to continue the prosecution of the present petition on her behalf,” it said.

The government has taken a decision “not to defend any of its functionaries” involved in a corruption case, the plea, which may be taken up for hearing on February 18, said.

“Since the case in question relates to the Prevention of Corruption Act, it has taken a decision not to defend any of its functionaries officers involved in the case. In any event, the impugned order for registration of FIR is against individuals for crimes allegedly committed by them and said persons should defend themselves ….,” it said.

The previous government had gone to the High Court in September last year against a lower court order to register an FIR against Dikshit on a complaint of BJP leader Vijender Gupta alleging her administration misused public funds to the tune Rs 22.56 crore in an advertisement campaign ahead of 2008 assembly polls. The order was stayed by the High Court.

Taking a U-turn, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government said “the Cabinet of the government of NCT has taken a decision to withdraw the decision taken to file an appeal in the High Court to defend former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and others, challenging the order of August 31, 2013 of special judge directing registration of FIR.”