The Delhi High Court Tuesday stayed an order issued by the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) in the CNG fitness scam case against Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) chief M K Meena.
The orders were issued by the bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath on a plea filed jointly by the Union Home Ministry and Meena. The plea challenged the creation of the commission by the Delhi government on grounds that it was created without approval from the Lieutenant Governor.
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On September 11, the CoI issued a non-bailable warrant against Meena and suggested a 30 per cent cut in his salary for failing to appear and furnish documents before it. The court issued the stay till September 23 and directed the commission and the government to file their responses to the plea.
This is yet another issue in the longstanding dispute between the Centre and the Delhi government regarding control over the ACB.
The commission was established on August 11 by the AAP government to look into allegations raised in the award of contract to M/S ESP India Ltd to conduct CNG fitness testing on vehicles.
The ACB had registered an FIR in 2012 and filed a chargesheet on September 3 before the concerned court. When notice was issued to the ACB by the CoI to furnish all documents relating to the ‘scam’ inquiry, it failed to appear. As the ACB did not respond to its queries, the CoI — headed by retired Delhi HC judge S N Aggarwal — issued the warrant against him.
Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for the government, said the warrant was issued by the CoI — which was an independent commission of inquiry and not under the government’s influence. Krishnan also stated that the government had already filed its reply to the other pleas against the CoI.
All these pleas are now set to be heard on September 23.