The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed an AAP government plea seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against ACB chief M K Meena for allegedly violating the court’s order by removing an SHO of the anti- graft body.
“The contempt case is dismissed,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said.
The AAP government had alleged that Meena “blocked” work of the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) and violated the court’s order to “act” in accordance with the law. Earlier, the high court had observed that “nothing remains” in the contempt plea against Meena since the AAP government’s challenge on the issue of curtailment of the powers of the anti-graft body has been dismissed.
In its contempt plea, the city government had alleged that Meena had arbitrarily replaced the then SHO of the ACB with another person. It had said that Meena had “willfully violated” the high court’s June 29, 2015 order asking the ACB chief, a Lt Governor-appointee, to act in “accordance with the law”.
The contempt plea had also alleged that Meena and the SHO appointed by him had not lodged an FIR against two officials of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) who were allegedly caught accepting bribe.
During the hearing on October 27 last year, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for Meena, had said that “there was absolutely no willful disobedience” by the chief of Delhi’s ACB who had acted in accordance with the law by not lodging an FIR.
The ASG had said the DDA officials were central government employees and the ACB did not have powers to take action against them. Hence, Meena had not disobeyed any law, he had said. He had said the high court’s judgement, holding the Lt Governor as the administrative head of Delhi and upholding the Centre’s notification regarding the ACB’s powers, has settled the law and thus “the contempt plea was infructuous”.
Delhi government senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra had alleged that a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) had caught the DDA officials red-handed and had gone to the ACB for lodging an FIR.
He had said that even the local police had refused to lodge an FIR in the matter inspite of an SDM asking them to do so and had let off the accused.