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HomeLATEST NEWSHC seeks Delhi govt's response on PWD officials' plea against show-cause notices

HC seeks Delhi govt’s response on PWD officials’ plea against show-cause notices

Delhi HC grants Rs 5L to man who lost pregnant wife to a road accident. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Aug 18 : The Delhi High Court has sought the response of the Delhi government and others on a plea by six PWD officials challenging the show-cause notices issued to them by the Directorate of Vigilance over alleged gross violations of rules during the renovation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s official residence.

The plea filed by the six officials, represented by senior advocate Salman Khurshid, seeks to quash the show-cause notices issued by the Special Secretary (Vigilance).

Justice Chandra Dhari Singh has issued notices to the Delhi government through the Directorate of Vigilance, Special Secretary (Vigilance), and the Public Works Department.

They have been given a timeframe of four weeks to submit their counter affidavit in response to the petition.

During the hearing, senior advocate Rahul Mehra and Delhi government standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi, representing the Directorate of Vigilance and PWD, assured the court that no coercive measures would be taken against the officials until the next hearing.

The court also noted the objections raised by Special Secretary (Vigilance) Y.V.V.J. Rajasekhar regarding statements made on behalf of the state. Furthermore, the court has excluded the PWD Minister’s office and the Chief Minister’s office as respondents in the case.

The Directorate of Vigilance had previously issued show-cause notices to six PWD officials, including chief engineers, regarding the alleged rule violations during the renovation of Kejriwal’s official residence. The officials were required to explain their actions.

The plea contends that the notices were issued without proper jurisdiction, competence, and with bias, alleging an abuse of the legal process.

The officials claim to be scapegoats in a political dispute between the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the ruling AAP.

The plea further says that the notices were leaked on social media even before a proper response was provided, indicating malicious intent.

It argues that the Special Secretary lacks the legal authority to issue such notices and alleges that the notices infringe upon the officials’ rights and damage their reputation.

The officials maintain that they followed the instructions of the PWD Minister and performed their duties diligently.

They say that the work undertaken for the Chief Minister’s official accommodation was in line with their official responsibilities and was carried out under supervision.

The show-cause notices said that PWD officials recorded on files of the department that as per the requirement of the Chief Minister, changes have been made in the drawings of the interiors, which resulted in deviation in the total work done and the amount sanctioned for it. They claim that the renovation was done without adherence to building regulations and financial guidelines.

Additionally, the officials are alleged to have constructed a residential complex for the chief minister that exceeded the allowable size outlined by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs guidelines.

The notices demand an explanation from the PWD officials for their actions, highlighting that they are in violation of General Financial Rules, CPWD Manual, and CVC guidelines.

The next hearing on this matter is scheduled for October 12.



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