Delhi HC reserves verdict on JMM chief's appeal against order refusing to interfere in Lokpal proceedings

by IANS |

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved its order on an appeal by veteran politician and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren against the single judge's order to not intervene in the proceedings initiated against him by the Lokpal, based on a complaint filed by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey.

Justice Subramonium Prasad had, on January 22, refused to intervene in the proceedings deeming Soren's petition challenging the Lokpal proceedings and the complaint as premature.

The court had stressed the independence of the Lokpal in deciding whether there was sufficient material to proceed with an investigation.

The Division Bench of Justices Rekha Palli and Rajnish Bhatnagar reserved the judgment saying that either the order would be uploaded by Tuesday or by Wednesday after adjudicating the entire facts of the case.

Earlier, Justice Prasad had rejected the argument presented by Soren's counsel, contending that the entire complaint was politically-motivated and that the Lokpal would inevitably order an investigation.

In the August 2020 complaint, Nishikant Dubey had alleged that Soren and his family members acquired huge wealth and properties by misusing the public exchequer and had grossly indulged in corruption.

The court had affirmed the autonomy of the Lokpal, stating that allegations of political influence cannot be accepted, and the Lokpal would independently examine the matter to decide whether an investigation was warranted.

Justice Prasad had highlighted that the Lokpal had not yet applied its mind to the material provided by the CBI regarding the necessity of an investigation.

The High Court had earlier stayed the Lokpal proceedings in September 2022. The Lokpal had asserted that Soren's plea was misconceived, and no violation of fundamental rights occurred.

It had defended the preliminary enquiry, stating that it was a proper course of action to ascertain the facts mentioned in the complaint.

The Lokpal had maintained that the matter was open for adjudication, including the issue of limitation.

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