A criminal complaint filed against AAP MLA Akhilesh Tripathi for allegedly using his influence over PWD officials to allow illegal use of a government flat has been dismissed by a Delhi court which said it cannot proceed against the legislator without a valid sanction.
The court said when there is no previous sanction, the magistrate cannot order probe against a public servant by invoking section 156(3) (police officer’s power to investigate cognizable case) of the CrPC in a complaint filed against him.
“Thus the contention of counsel for complainant that at the stage of exercise of power under section 156(3) of the CrPC, sanction was not required is without merit. Thus, once there is no previous sanction, a magistrate cannot order investigation by invoking power under section 156(3) CrPC,” special CBI judge Poonam Chaudhry said.
The court dismissed the complaint filed against three persons, Tripathi, a woman government employee who was allotted the flat in Gulabi Bagh here, and a woman, who was occupying the flat.
It said the allegation against the MLA was under the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act and sanction under the law was mandatory for proceeding against him.
“The requirement of law for a valid sanction for proceeding against public servant is mandatory,” it said.
Regarding the public servant and the woman, the court said the allegations against them were under the Public Premises (Eviction unauthorised Occupant) Act, 1971, and complainant Vivek Garg can take recourse to the legal remedy provided under the Act.
RTI activist Garg alleged in his complaint that a flat was allotted to Veena and during an inspection by PWD officials, it was found that the house was sublet to Seema who was living there with her family.
A show-cause notice was issued to Veena in November 2014, calling for an explanation but no satisfactory reply was received, it alleged, adding that presence of unauthorised occupants in the flat showed that it was a case of subletting and thereby cheating Delhi Administration or government.
The complaint further alleged that Tripathi requested PWD to prolong the matter of allotment of flat as it was under the consideration of PWD minister and by using his influence, he unlawfully managed to do it.
It sought prosecution of the MLA and two women for alleged offences of cheating, criminal breach of trust, conspiracy under the IPC and taking gratification, to influence public servant by corrupt and illegal means under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In May a Delhi court had dismissed a corruption case against Tripathi, saying he could not be charged under Prevention of Corruption Act as he was not a public servant when he breached the poll expense.