Delhi High Court refuses Delhi Govt’s plea to remove ACB chief, issues notice

Delhi High CourtDelhi High Court has refused to issue directions to restrain Lt Governor-appointee Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) chief MK Meena from entering office as was sought by the Delhi government. At the same time, High Court issued notice to the Union Government and asked Meena to act in accordance with the law.

Hearing the matter, Justice VP Vaish has also rejected the plea to stop Meena from removing the FIR book from ACB headquarter, recording new FIRs and seeking immediate removal of paramilitary personnel posted there, and to make him a party in the main case.


Case No. CM APPL. 11079 and 11083 of 2015
in
Writ Petition NO. 5888 of 2015Government of NCT of Delhi v. Union of India
Bench Justice VP Vaish

Background

Delhi Government had filed an Interlocutory Application (IA) in the Writ Petition challenging the MHA notification which had given certain discretionary powers to the LG while making appointments. A month back on 29 May, Delhi High Court had refused to stay the notification and had issued a notice to the Union Government.

Meena was appointed the ACB chief by LG Najeeb Jung on June 8, superseding ACB chief SS Yadav.


Application

Through thes IA, Delhi government alleged that Meena has been “misusing his powers to browbeat and threaten officials of ACB and the Vigilance Department”, after AAP government-nominated ACB chief SS Yadav accused Meena of threatening and pressuring him.

IA prayed:

Pass an order restraining Meena, 1989-batch Indian Police Service officer, Joint Commissioner/New Delhi Range from entering the office of ACB of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and from interfering in any manner with functioning of the ACB.


Indira Jaising represents Delhi Govt, ASG Sanjay Jain defends Union

Appearing for the Delhi Government, Jaising alleged:

On numerous occasions he [Meena] has put pressure on ACB officers to transfer all cases of corruption involving police personnel from ACB to Delhi Police,” Jaising alleged.

Seeking an interim stay, she said that it was an emergent situation not an urgent situation to ensure that ACB is allowed to function smoothly.

Court asked Jaising whether there were any cases where an anti-graft complaint was received and was put up before Meena but no approval was granted for lodging an FIR. Replying to this Jaising submitted that once the intimidating tactics were stopped, the ACB will show how many anti-graft complaints are received.

Jaising was assisted by senior counsel Dayan Krishan and Delhi government’s standing counsel Raman Duggal,

Defending the appointment, Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain contended that the ACB was a police station and since police fell within the Centre’s purview, the Central Government was empowered to post someone to head it and Meena was a Joint Commissioner rank officer and “not some inspector”.


Plea to make Meena a party declined

High Court also declined the Delhi Government’s plea seeking direction to implead Meena as party in the main petition challenging the May 21 notification and the July 23, 2014 notification limiting the ACB’s jurisdiction to Delhi government officials only and not the city police. Subsequently Delhi government withdrew this plea.


Union to reply in two weeks

Issuing notice to the Union Government, High Court asked it file its response in two weeks and listed the matter for August 11, when the main matter involving MHA notification is listed for hearing.

Next date of hearing: 11 August 2015

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