Prior enquiry by executive authorities cannot oust the jurisdiction of Lokayukta to conduct enquiry on the same issue

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Sheel Nagu, J., dismissed a writ petition filed against the order passed by the respondent authorities whereby an enquiry was ordered against the petitioner.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the petition was maintainable

The Court observed that it is an accepted fact that two similar enquiries were earlier held by two different authorities against the petitioner. In both these enquiries, nothing was found against the petitioner who is a retired government servant. However, it is also an undisputed fact that those previous enquiries were conducted by different executive authorities and not by the Lokayukta Organization. The Lokayukta has vast powers to conduct enquiries in cases related to alleged economic offences against any serving or retired government employee and this statutory power cannot be denied to the Lokayukta.

The Court held that a mere enquiry under Section 10 of the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta Avam Up-Lokayukta Adhiniyam, 1981 does not cause any prejudice to the petitioner and hence he has no right to agitate in the writ petition. Resultantly, the petition was held not maintainable and dismissed with a direction to the Lokayukta authorities to ensure due respect and care to the petitioner, during the course of enquiry, on account of him being a senior citizen and a retired employee.[Mahendra Kumar Jain v. Special Police Establishment Lokayukta,2018 SCC OnLine MP 796, order dated 01-11-2018]

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