Posted December 17, 2010on:
Madhya Pradesh has had Lokayuktas who were accused of corruption and favouritism. What Prakash Prabhakar Naolekar has done in the Seth-Vijayvargiya case is sheer meanness, unbecoming of a person who was a judge of the Supreme Court. Or had he got appointed to the apex court through chicanery?
The Lokayukta police has registered a case against Suresh Seth and 18 others for allegedly committing irregularities in connection with the land leased out to Seth in the Press Complex in Indore 30 years ago. The sections invoked against Seth and others are 13(1) D, 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and 420 and 120B of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In normal circumstance, one would not have faulted the Lokayukta for starting investigation against a former minister even in a case going back to the 1980s. But what Naolekar is doing is not normal. He is trying to harass Seth for his complaint against industries and commerce minister Kailash Vijayvargiya. It is so obvious. Naolekar has shown no inclination of investigating complaints of corruption against chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan or his cabinet colleagues. But his brazenness in harassing the octogenarian Congress leader for pursuing his complaint against the minister is startling.
On Suresh Seth’s complaint, the designated court at Indore had directed the Lokayukta Organisation in April to investigate the allegation that land worth around Rs 100 crore in the Pardeshipura locality (of Indore) was fraudulently allotted to Ramesh Mendola, at present BJP MLA and a trusted lieutenant of Kailash Vijayvargiya; the latter was the Mayor of Indore Municipal Corporation when the land allotment was made.
Seth’s 220-page petition in the designated court alleged that Kailash Vijayvargiya and Ramesh Mendola conspired with Vijay Kothari and Ramesh Sanghvi, partners in the Dhanlaxmi Chemical Industries to grab the land, measuring three acres, situated next to Sugnidevi College at Pardeshipura. The government had leased this chunk of the land out of the eight-acre land of the Sugnidevi College campus to Dhanlaxmi Chemical Industries in 1980 on a 30-year lease at an annual lease rent of Rs 2400. The Indore Municipal Corporation, with Kailash Vijayvargiya as its Mayor, permitted sale of this land to Nanda Nagar Griha Nirman Sakh Sanstha, which was headed by Ramesh Mendola, in 2004. According to the documents, Mendola had struck a deal with Vijay Kothari and Manish Sanghvi for the sale of this land for Rs 1.38 crore long before the Municipal Corporation had granted its permission for the sale. The sale deed shows that the land was to be used for educational, health and residential activities.
The Lokayukta police, apparently under direction of Naolekar, had resorted to various dirty tricks to harass Seth. He was called for recording his statement to the Lokayukta SP’s office in a scorching heat and then SP would not be there. A writ challenging the power of the designated court to direct the Lokayukta for investigation was filed in the High Court and it was dismissed. The Lokayukta had to be snubbed by the designated court for resorting to subterfuge and had to be reminded about the powers that the Lokayukta enjoys under the Lokayukta and Up-Lokayukta Act. The request of the Lokayukta police to disallow Suresh Seth from intervening was also rejected by the court. Having exhausted several tricks to keep an overweening Seth under check, the Lokayukta has now stooped down to the depravity of registering an FIR against him in a case which Suresh Seth claims had been heard by the High Court and dismissed on February 17, 2007.