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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Under what circumstances, the Lokayukta can entertain complaints against other public servants is elaborated in Section 7(1) clause (4) which we set out hereunder: 7. Matters which may be investigated by Lokayukta or Upa- Lokayukta:-- (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Lokayukta may investigate any action which is taken by, or with the general or specific approval of, or at the behest of,-- (i) (ii) (iii) (iii)(a) (iv) any other public servant, belonging to such class or section of public servants, as may be notified by the government in this behalf after consultation with the Lokayukta, in any case where a complaint involving an allegation is made in respect of such action, or such action can be or could have been, in the opinion of the Lokayukta, the subject of an allegation. Unlike other clauses, under the aforesaid clause there must be a complaint involving an allegation. Again the word allegation has been defined in Section 2(b) of the Act, which is set out hereunder: 2(b) allegation in relation to a public servant means any affirmation that such public servant (i) has abused his position as such, to obtain any gain or favour to himself or to any other person, or to cause undue harm or hardship to any other person; (ii) was actuated in the discharge of his functions as such public servant by improper or corrupt motive and thereby caused loss to the State or any member or section of the public; or (iii) is guilty of corruption, or lack of integrity in his capacity as such public servant; Thus, on a conjoint reading of sub-sections (i), (ii) and (iii) of sub- section (b) of Section 2 and Section 7 of the Act, we think that the Upa- Lokayukta can entertain complaints only when there are prima facie allegations with particulars fitting requirements of clauses (i)(ii)(iii) referred to above. We have already culled out the gist of the complaint made against the Tahsildar and we not find any such allegation made in the complaint. In addition to what has been found by the Upalokayukta, we also find in the complaint, reading on the face of it, it does not confer the jurisdiction on the Upa-Lokayukta.

THE HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE SRI KALYAN JYOTI SENGUPTA AND THE HONOURABLE SRI JUSTICE SANJAY KUMAR        
                   
Writ Petition No.3059 of 2015

12-2-2015

R.K. Mittal Petitioner

The Institute of Lokayukta For the State of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Rep.
by its Registrar, Hyderabad and others Respondents

COUNSEL FOR PETITIONER: Sri B. Bal Reddy    

COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT NOs.1 & 2 : None appeared        
COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT NO.3 : Government Pleader for Revenue        

<GIST:

>HEAD NOTE:  

?CITATIONS:


THE HONBLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE SRI KALYAN JYOTI SENGUPTA            
 AND
THE HONBLE SRI JUSTICE SANJAY KUMAR        

WRIT PETITION NO.3059 OF 2015    

ORDER: (per the Honble The Chief Justice Sri Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta)

        This writ petition has been filed impugning the order of the Upa-
Lokayukta dated 29.12.2014 refusing to entertain the petitioners
complaint under the Andhra Pradesh Lokayukta Act, 1983 (hereinafter
referred to as the Act).
      Learned counsel for the petitioner says that going by the statement
made in the complaint, learned Upa-Lokayukta ought to have entertained
the complaint and enquired into the matter.  He says that the Tahsildar,
being a public servant, has caused an undue hardship to the petitioner in
taking steps in spite of a judicial pronouncement that the land claimed by
the petitioner does not belong to Government.
      In the context of the submission of the learned counsel for the
petitioner, we have examined the order of the Upa-Lokayukta who has
given reason that the dispute in question is purely of civil nature and that
the matter has already been seized by the competent civil court, as per
the allegations levelled by the complainant in his complaint.  It was also
recorded that the complainant also filed a writ petition before the Honble
High Court.
      Reading the order impugned, we are of the view that refusal by the
Upa-Lokayukta to entertain the complaint is just and proper, but we would
like to re-look into the matter taking note of the submissions of the
learned counsel for the petitioner and also perusing the written complaint
made by the petitioner.
      Upon reading of the complaint, it appears that the allegations are
directed against the Tahsildar, who is a public servant.  The sum and
substance of the allegation is that the Tahsildar/Mandal Revenue Officer,
Himayatnagar Mandal, has actuated in discharge of his functions as such
the said public servant by improper motive with an intention to put the
petitioner to loss has taken action on the application by giving a false
report, due to which the reputation of property has been put great loss
and the petitioner has been put to great loss.  Therefore, the sum and
substance of the allegation is that the Tahsildar has given a false report.
It is not alleged that the Tahsildar has acted illegally nor it is said that she
has abused her position.  Under what circumstances, the Lokayukta can
entertain complaints against other public servants is elaborated in Section
7(1) clause (4) which we set out hereunder:
        7. Matters which may be investigated by Lokayukta or Upa-
Lokayukta:-- (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Lokayukta may
investigate any action which is taken by, or with the general or specific
approval
of, or at the behest of,--
(i)        
(ii)        
(iii)      
(iii)(a)  
(iv)    any other public servant, belonging to such class or section of
public servants, as may be notified by the government in this
behalf after consultation with the Lokayukta, in any case
where a complaint involving an allegation is made in respect
of such action, or such action can be or could have been, in
the opinion of the Lokayukta, the subject of an allegation.

      Unlike other clauses, under the aforesaid clause there must be a
complaint involving an allegation.  Again the word allegation has been
defined in Section 2(b) of the Act, which is set out hereunder:
          2(b) allegation in relation to a public servant means any
affirmation that
such public servant
(i)     has abused his position as such, to obtain any gain or favour to himself
or to any other person, or to cause undue harm or hardship to any
other person;
(ii)    was actuated in the discharge of his functions as such public servant by
improper or corrupt motive and thereby caused loss to the State or any
member or section of the public; or
(iii)   is guilty of corruption, or lack of integrity in his capacity as such
public
servant;

      Thus, on a conjoint reading of sub-sections (i), (ii) and (iii) of sub-
section (b) of Section 2 and Section 7 of the Act, we think that the Upa-
Lokayukta can entertain complaints only when there are prima facie
allegations with particulars fitting requirements of clauses (i)(ii)(iii)
referred to above.  We have already culled out the gist of the complaint
made against the Tahsildar and we not find any such allegation made in
the complaint.  In addition to what has been found by the Upalokayukta,
we also find in the complaint, reading on the face of it, it does not confer
the jurisdiction on the Upa-Lokayukta.
      Hence, overruling the contentions of the learned counsel for the
petitioner, we accept the order of the learned Upa-Lokayukta and dismiss
the writ petition.
        Pending miscellaneous petitions, if any, shall also stand dismissed.
There will be no order as to costs.

________________________  
K.J.SENGUPTA, CJ  
_______________________  
SANJAY KUMAR, J        
12.2.2015

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