All India Trinamool Congress spokesman Saket S. Gokhale has questioned the decision by the State Lokayukta to dismiss the complaint against SF-10 Commandant Gabriel K. Iangrai and former Meghalaya Director General of Police Rajkumar Chandranathan in regards to the vehicle procurement scam in the Meghalaya police headquarters.
Gokhale who has lodged the complaint against Iangrai and Chandranathan with the Lokayukta, today wrote to Lokayukta chairman Bhalang Dhar seeking record of the statements of the accused and the complainant via video conference before a decision is made or an order is passed by the Lokayukta.
“The Meghalaya Lokayukta had fixed November 15, 2022 as the date of hearing the maintainability of the complaint. Despite having informed the Lokayukta that the complainant won’t be available in person, a video-conference link was never sent to the complainant nor the witnesses. Even in judicial proceedings, including those in the Hon’ble High Court as well as the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, parties are given the option of attending proceedings through video conference. It is, therefore, bizarre that the complainant and witnesses were given no such option by the Lokayukta,” Gokhale said in the letter to Dhar.
Gokhale also expressed shock with the media statement by Iangrai’s lawyer that “the complaint has been dismissed”.
He also said that the Meghalaya Lokayukta has issued orders ex-parte without hearing the complainant or the witnesses or providing them a convenient way of doing so.
“This letter, therefore, seeks your kind clarification on the status of the case and again humbly prays that the complainant and the witnesses be given their due opportunity and right to record their statement via video conferencing on a date decided by the Lokayukta before making a decision on the present complaint,” Gokhale said.
“Under principles of natural justice, every attempt needs to be made in good faith to allow complainants and witnesses to depose in a matter of such seriousness and it cannot be decided ex-parte without the complainant and witnesses being given the opportunity to lay down their statements,” he added.
Gokhale also requested the Lokayukta that the complainant and the witnesses in the matter be issued a date to record their statements via video conference before a decision is made or an order is passed.