Government ad contract: Delhi Lokayukta gives clean chit to Sheila Dikshit

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The Delhi Lokayukta has given a clean chit to former chief minister Sheila Dikshit in a case
of alleged “bypassing” of regulations and granting of “undue favours” to a private firm in handling government advertisements.

The complainant, Ashok Kumar, had alleged that the Congress leader had caused a loss of Rs 73.28 lakh to the exchequer by allegedly bending rules to extend benefits to Ved
Pahuja and Associates.

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The complaint said the firm was appointed as consultants and engaged for all outdoor publicity despite it not being empanelled by the Directorate of Information and Publicity
(DIP) or the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP).

“The forum observed that no purpose would be served by protracting the present proceedings, in which the complainant himself is not willing to come froward to press the
allegations and, in which, in any event, the documents on record do not substantiate the case of the complainant,” the order issued by Lokayukta Justice Reva Khetrapal said.

The order, dated 25 July, came nearly two weeks after Dikshit was appointed as the Congress’ chief ministerial candidate in Uttar Pradesh.

The order said that following Kumar’s plea for a detailed inquiry through an independent agency to ascertain the actual loss to the exchequer, a notice was issued to Dikshit on
February 12, 2013.

“Perusal of the records, however, shows that the complainant has filed no evidence to substantiate his aforesaid allegations,” the order said.

An amicus curiae, who was appointed at a later stage in the case, also conceded before the forum that there was nothing on record to bring home the allegation of culpability
against the respondent.

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