Assuring that DDA will be cleansed of its ‘corrupt’ tag soon, the Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it had prepared a comprehensive action plan to book erring officials of the Authority and municipal bodies under IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act for abetting illegal constructions in the national capital.
Placing the plan before a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Navin Sinha, attorney general K K Venugopal said a website and mobile application would soon be launched by the Special Task Force(STF) to enable residents to file complaints and upload pictures of illegal constructions in their vicinity.
He said the civic bodies and DDA officials would be presumed to be guilty of connivance in case of any unauthorised construction in the area under their jurisdiction and they would be issued show-cause notice on why they should not be prosecuted. He said FIR would be immediately lodged against the officials if their reply was not found satisfactory.
“With such a stringent and watertight plan, not a single case of unauthorised construction would go unnoticed. For the past irregularities also the officials concerned would also be tracked and action taken against them. Responsibility would be fixed on one individual,” the AG said, adding that a grid of officers had been prepared for different areas and they would be held responsible for any illegal constructions in their jurisdiction.
“In case of any illegal construction activity detected by STF, it will be presumed that such activity has been or was undertaken in connivance with the officer responsible for the area concerned as mentioned in the grid. The STF shall direct the disciplinary authority concerned to initiate proceedings against the officer and also issue show cause notice. In case the reply is not satisfactory, an FIR will be lodged against him/her,” the action plan said.
The bench, however, said that the erring officer must be immediately suspended after illegal construction took place in his area. “Just assure us that you will suspend such officer. This is the least that you can do. Not suspending the officer would send a wrong message to the general public that he was not being suspended despite being corrupt,” the court said.
Venugopal said any action against the officer had to be taken as per the service rules and the Centre would examine whether such officer could be immediately suspended.
“In the smallest of cases you suspend officials then why not in case of illegal construction? It is for you to take the call,” the bench said, asking the Centre to make its stand clear on May
17. The bench directed the Centre to make the app operational within 15 days.