Ranchi, March 15: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned hearing on the plea pertaining to Lokpal’s notice to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) President Shibu Soren in a disproportionate assets case.
Justice Prathiba M. Singh posted the matter for the next hearing on March 29 after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Lokpal, and senior advocate Kapil Sibal representing Soren requested for the adjournment.
Both, Mehta and Sibal, said that they were engaged in the Constitution Bench matters before the apex court.
The Lokpal, on November 28, 2022, had informed the High Court that it is well within “its rights to initiate an inquiry” against Soren. The submission was made in response to a plea filed by Soren against the Lokpal’s notice in a disproportionate asset case directing for a preliminary inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
A preliminary inquiry was directed by the Lokpal in the notice into the disproportionate assets case by CBI under the Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act, 2013.
In its affidavit in the High Court, the Lokpal had stated that such an inquiry is initiated only to ascertain whether there exists a prima facie case for proceeding in the matter while a direction to conduct a preliminary inquiry is not a determination of the merit of a complaint and does not prejudice the public servant concerned in any manner.
“In view of the above, the Lokpal of India was fully justified in granting extensions from time to time to the CBI after reviewing the status of the preliminary inquiry and taking into account the totality of the circumstances,” the affidavit stated.
Soren’s petition stated that the Lokpal notice was issued by taking cognizance of a “politically motivated, frivolous, and misconceived complaint”.
The Lokpal notice was issued on a complaint lodged by BJP leader and Lok Sabha MP Nishikant Dubey.