The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices and sought responses from the central government, the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on a plea filed by one of the government officers accused in the CNG fitness scam case.
M A Usmani, former deputy commissioner of the transport department, has challenged the AAP government’s decision to form a Commission of Inquiry to probe the alleged scam.
Appearing before the bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath on behalf of the petitioner, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra argued that after the Lt-Governor had raised an objection to the decision of the AAP government, the matter should have been sent to the Centre.
“No prior approval was taken from the L-G and he has already denied sanction for prosecution,” argued Luthra. He added that under the Delhi government’s transaction of business rules, if there is a difference of opinion between the Delhi cabinet and the L-G, the matter is required to be referred to the President.
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“Any steps taken in furtherance of the impugned notification, till a decision is taken by the President, are brazenly illegal and in violation of the transaction of business rules,” stated the plea. The bench, however, refused to issue an interim stay on the basis of the plea, observing that a similar case challenging the Commission of Inquiry was already pending before the court. It will now hear both cases together on September 23.
Usmani’s plea has claimed that the Commission of Inquiry was “invalid, illegal and void ab initio”.
” He has also claimed that the commission was a “second round of inquiry” after neither the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) nor the Central Bureau of Investigation had found any evidence that would amount to “abuse of process”.
Usmani, a former DANICS officer, was arrested in 2013 by the Delhi ACB for his suspected role in the alleged scam, and had spent over 50 days in jail during the investigation.