Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin rapped Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on May 6 for using her photograph on the application forms for loans given by Delhi SC&ST and OBC Finance Corporation. The order came on a petition filed by former Delhi Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.
The Lokayukta held that the publication of the photograph of the Chief Minster on an application form is against the conduct of public functionaries and it violates the norms of integrity. Apart from the picture of Chief Miniter, the photo of her Social Welfare Minister Rajkumar Chauhan has also been printed.
The said forms with the pictures of the said leaders were issued in August 2012 for disbursement of loans to SCs, STs and OBCs and were priced at Rs 100/- whereas the forms were earlier being given free of cost to all the applicants. The Lokayukta held that the said leaders are promoting their personality cult and were misusing the government machinery for making gains in the forthcoming elections in Delhi Assembly. “A ‘public functionary’ committed or devoted to the norms of integrity and conduct need not strive to get his or her photographs printed on forms or public advertisements for an unfair advantage in the elections or to gain popularity. “This is not the conduct expected of a public functionary holding the august office of the Chief Minister,” the Lokayukta said in the order.
In its recommendations to President of India the Lokayukta sought an advisory to the Government of Delhi asking them to desist from publishing photographs on the scheme forms for loans. It also said that the Government of Delhi be asked to remove the photographs from the forms already used.
The Lokayukta had earlier issued a notice to Sheila Dikshit and her minister Raj Kumar Chauhan to explain the printing of their photographs on application forms. Under this scheme the youth from SC, ST, OBC and minority communities – whose family income is less than Rs 2 lakh per annum – are given a loan up to Rs. 5 lakh. Delhi State SC/SC/OBC/Minority and Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (DSFDC) sanctions these loans. (FOC)