Delhi High Court today asked Lt Governor-appointee Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) chief M K Meena to act in accordance with the law, while refusing to issue directions to restrain him from entering office as sought by the Delhi government.
Justice V P Vaish also declined Delhi government’s pleas to stop Meena from removing the FIR book from ACB headquarter, recording new FIRs and seeking immediate removal of paramilitary personnel posted there.
As senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the Aam Aadmi Party government, sought directions to restrain Meena from allegedly pressurising ACB officials, the court directed Meena to act in “accordance with law”, while posing whether the ACB would function “smoothly” if he was restrained from entering the ACB office.
It also issued notice to the Centre directing it to file its response within two weeks and listed the application for further hearing on August 11 along with the ongoing litigation challenging Centre’s notification giving Lt Governor Najeeb Jung absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats in the capital.
The court was hearing Delhi government’s plea alleging that Meena has been “misusing his powers to browbeat and threaten officials of ACB and the Vigilance Department”, after AAP government-nominated ACB chief S S Yadav accused Meena of threatening and pressuring him.
“On numerous occasions he (Meena) has put pressure on ACB officers to transfer all cases of corruption involving police personnel from ACB to Delhi Police,” Jaising alleged.
She sought an interim order saying “it was an emergent situation not an urgent” situation to ensure that ACB is allowed to function smoothly.
Jaising also alleged that the “Centre has been repeatedly attempting to interfere with and hamper the smooth functioning of the ACB. The notification which have been impugned in the writ petition were the first attempt in this direction.”
“I want these intimidating tactics be stopped,” she said adding that once the intimidation was removed the ACB will show how many anti-graft complaints are received.
This submission was made in response to the court’s query whether there are any cases where an anti-graft complaint was received and was put up before Meena but no approval was granted for lodging an FIR.
(With agency inputs)