New Delhi, 5 September
Acting on the Lokayukta’s recommendation, the Centre has issued an advisory to Delhi government’s Department of Welfare for SC/ST/OBC and minority community “to be careful” while publicising their policies.
The advisory came after Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin had in May recommended to the President the issue of an “advisory” to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan asking them to desist from putting their photographs on application forms offering loan at low rates to entrepreneurs from SC, ST, OBC and minority communities under ‘Dilli Swarojgar Yojna’.
In a letter to the Lokayukta, the Home Ministry conveyed that the President has decided that there was no need to put photographs of the Chief Minister and Minister-in-charge on loan applications.
The Ministry also said that after careful examination of the Lokayukta’s report along with the comments of Delhi government, “it was found that Department of Welfare of SC/ST/OBC/minority and Delhi SC/ST/OBC/ Minority Finance and Development Corporation need not print photographs of the CM and the Minister on loan application forms as the practise does not benefit the prospective loanee in any manner”.
Justice Sarin was hearing the matter in response to a complaint filed last year by BJP leader Harsh Vardhan who objected to the publication of the photographs on the loan form, saying it was aimed at getting “undue political gain” from intended beneficiaries.
Seeking “blocking” of the photographs of Dikshit and Chouhan on the forms, the Lokayukta had recommended to the President that a direction be issued to the city government to frame appropriate guidelines for issuance of advertisements, hoardings etc., featuring photographs of public functionaries.