Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that she and BJP leader Vijender Gupta have settled the dispute between them over the alleged misuse of government funds by her in the 2008 assembly polls. A court official said the matter was listed before Justice Sunil Gaur who, taking note of the submission, disposed of Dikshit’s plea against a trial court order to lodge an FIR against her on Gupta’s complaint alleging misuse of government funds by her. The detailed order is awaited.
The trial court’s August 31, 2013 direction had come on the BJP leader’s complaint alleging that she had misused government funds of Rs 22.56 crore in an advertisement campaign ahead of the 2008 assembly polls. The petition against the trial court order was pending in the high court since September 2013 when it had ordered that status quo be maintained in respect of registration of FIR against Dikshit.
In his complaint before the trial court, Gupta had sought registration of FIR against Dikshit and others for alleged criminal breach of trust (Sec 409 IPC), criminal misappropriation of public funds and criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The complaint had said that in 2007-08, Dikshit was the Chief Minister of Delhi and also minister in-charge of information and publicity when the alleged misuse of funds took place.
He had said, “A large number of hoardings showing pictures of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Sheila Dikshit all over Delhi Metro, bus shelters and also in form of radio jingles, TV spots etc. by misusing government machinery and public funds…burdened the state exchequer in carrying out campaign of Congress party for her own political gains.” The BJP leader had said he had filed a complaint before Delhi Lokayukta who had on May 22, 2013, indicted Dikshit for allegedly misusing government funds for carrying out an advertisement campaign with a political purpose ahead of the last assembly polls.
He had also said that the Lokayukta had also recommended to then President Pranab Mukherjee to caution Dikshit for the alleged misuse of public funds and to advise her to reimburse either herself or through her party Rs 11 crore as half the cost of the advertisements in 2008 or any amount the President finds adequate.
The high court had ordered status quo with regard to registration of the FIR as the Lokayukta recommendation was pending consideration of the President.