New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) In the first such case, DelhiLokayukta today recommended the removal of PWD Minister RajKumar Chauhan from the council of ministers for trying toprotect a leading resort in a tax evasion case.
Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin''s order came in acase pertaining to the minister''s alleged involvement ininfluencing a team of tax officials to provide relief to theresort in a tax evasion case.
"In his order, the Lokayukta has recommended toPresident of India to withdraw her pleasure in allowing theminister to continue as a minister in Delhi Government," a topofficial in Lokayukta told PTI.The Lokayukta has made the recommendation to thePresident, who is the competent authority to withdraw thepleasure for the Minister to hold office in terms of clausefive of Article 239 (AA) of the Constitution of India andSection 12 of Delhi Lokayukta-Uplokayukta Act, 1995, theofficial said quoting the order.
The Lokayukta has also recommended prosecution of theMinister under various sections of Delhi Value Added Tax Act,2004.
Asked about the order, Chauhan said as publicrepresentative, he gets lots of calls from people requestingfor favours and he only responded to such a call.
"I am a public representative. I always try to helppeople. I may have made the call to help somebody who hadrequested me for some favour," he said claiming that the orderis of recommendatory nature only.
When asked, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said she hasnot got the details of the order so she would not like tocomment further.
This is for the first time that the Lokayukta hasrecommended the removal of a Delhi Minister.
The Lokayukta had taken suo motu action on mediareports that VAT Commissioner Jalaj Srivastava had written tothe Delhi Government saying that a minister had asked him torecall enforcement team from the survey.
Srivastava had later named Chauhan as the Delhiminister who had called him to intervene during the survey.
In his report to the government, Srivastava had saidthe minister told him over phone to "intervene" in the allegedtax evasion case against Tivoli Garden Resort hotel in SouthDelhi.