HC stays proceedings against former UP Lokayukta

Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court today stayed the proceedings of a criminal complaint case against former Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta, Justice (retired) N K Mehrotra, filed by social activist and wife of suspended IPS officer Amitabh Thakur before the Chief Judicial Magistrate here.

Former UP Lokayukta Justice (retired) N K Mehrotra.
Former UP Lokayukta Justice (retired) N K Mehrotra.

Justice Sudhir Kumar Saxena of Lucknow bench gave the order on a petition filed by Mehrotra seeking directions for quashing the case and staying its proceedings during pendecy of this petition under the Criminal Procedure Code.

It was submitted on behalf of the petitioner that criminal proceedings could not be initiated against him as he was Lokayukta at the time in question.

Government counsel Rishad Murtaza contended that sub section 17 of the UP Lokayukta and UP Lokayukta Act 1975 contains a protection clause for the anti-graft body.

Therefore, no criminal prosecution can be initiated against a Lokayukta in respect of anything which was done in good faith or intended to be done under the Act, he said.

Since the complaint was a fallout of the report submitted by the Lokayukta against Amitabh Thakur, husband of complainant Nutan Thakur, hence, no criminal case can be initiated against the former for discharging his official functions, Murtaza said.

The complainant, Nutan Thakur, had alleged that Mehrotra had made an inquiry against the rules and prepared a completely false report against her husband by twisting facts, which constitutes an offence under IPC.

The CJM, Lucknow had taken cognisance of the complaint and it was being heard before him, the complainant further said.

Murtaza said the HC has directed the complainant to file a counter affidavit (reply) within two weeks.

A rejoinder affidavit may be filed by the petitioner within one week thereafter. HC has directed to list this matter thereafter, he added.

The former UP Lokayukta had recommended registration of an FIR and an inquiry against Amitabh Thakur by “any agency”, including CBI in a disproportionate assets case.

Thakur was suspended by the UP government on July 13 last year on charges of indiscipline.

The decision came a few days after Thakur had lodged a complaint with the police claiming he was threatened by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.