HC directs NDMC to reply on ''misuse'' of public funds

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New Delhi, Jan 30 (UNI) Lashing out at the New Delhi Municipal Council for allegedly ''misusing'' public funds and disbursing amenities to non-official members, including two MLAs of the council, the Delhi High Court today asked the NDMC to furnish within three weeks details specifying the rules under which they had ''disbursed over Rs 2 lakh per month as perks to them.'' A bench comprising Chief Justice M K Sharma and Justice Reva Khetrapal directed the NDMC to verify from the Urban Development Ministry whether non-official members were entitled to any perks like the government accomodation and transport facility.

It directed the Delhi and the Central governments to reply its stand on the allegations of ''misuse'' of funds by four non-official members of the NDMC, including two sitting MLAs.

A public interest petition was filed by Mr C L Devgun, who has served the NDMC for 37 years and his lawyer Monica Arora alleging gross ''misuse'' of public funds by two sitting MLAs Tajdar Babbar and Ashok Ahuja and two non-official members.

The bench was surprised how the four members of the NDMC were getting additional perks to the tune of Rs two lakh per month and renumeration, which was not prescribed in the draft rules.

It asked the government to verify the facts from the Urban Development Ministry whether relatives of MLA Tajdar Babbar were residing in the house which was alloted by the NDMC to some of its other employees.

The petition alleged that the NDMC had violated all norms to pass on the benefits to its members even though there was no such mention in the draft rules.

Lawyer Monica Arora showed a notification issued by the Centre on December 6, 2006, saying non-official members were entitled to only Rs 1000 per meeting not exceeding to three meetings a month.

''According to Section 2 of the NDMC Act, their members are entitled to Rs 2000 per meeting and up to 12 meetings are held a year. However, they are getting a bunglow at Golf links, a car with driver and petrol and other perks and allowances, which is a gross misuse of public funds. It should be stopped with immediate effect,'' the petitioner said.

UNI SNG HS RAI2156

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