Lok Ayukta has NO jurisdiction to entertain wife’s complaints on matrimonial issues ! AP High Court

Lok Ayukta has NO jurisdiction to entertain wife’s complaints on matrimonial issues ! AP High Court

Doctor wife who got two bedrooms, bathrooms, drawing room and other portions of house thru DV residence orders drags husband and co to Lok ayukta. Honble Andhra High Court strikes down Lok Ayukta’s orders and decrees that Lok ayukta has NO jurisdiction in such matrimonial cases cases

Landmark case that could be of use to other husbands

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CASE FROM JUDIS / INDIAN KANOON WEB SITE with necessary Emphasis, Re formatting
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Andhra High Court

THE HONBLE THE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE SRI DILIP B. BHOSALE
AND
THE HON’BLE Sri Justice Vilas V. Afzulpurkar
THE HON’BLE Sri Justice S.V. BHATT

WRIT PETITION No.7615 of 2013

28-08-2015

Dr.R.G.Sunil Reddy………PETITIONER

The A.P. Lokayukta, Basheerbagh, Hyderabad and two others………RESPONDENTS

Counsel for Petitioner : MR. L. RAVI CHANDER For MR MAHESH RAJE
Counsel for Respondents: MR. P.V. VIDYA SAGAR GP FOR HOME MR. P. PRABHAKAR

Cases referred:
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1. 2010 (2) ALT 246 (DB)

2. (2003) 4 SCC 595

3. 1995 SUPP (2) SCC 348

4. 1996 (4) ALT 1072 (DB)

ORDER: (Per Honble Sri Justice Vilas V. Afzulpurkar)
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A Division Bench of this Court vide order dated 14.06.2013 has disagreed with the view expressed by the earlier Division Bench in A.P.S.F.D. & W ASSOCIATION v. DISTRICT COLLECTOR, VISAKHAPATNAM and referred questions a to c to be heard and decided by a larger Bench. In terms of the said order of reference, this writ petition is posted before us and we are required to answer the questions framed in the order of reference. The questions for consideration are extracted hereunder:

a. Whether A.P. Lokayukta has jurisdiction to entertain a complaint, which does not involve an allegation, or a complaint regarding non-implementation of an order of a Magistrate in a matrimonial dispute between a wife and husband, or any other dispute inter se private individuals, and pass consequential orders?

b. Whether the A.P. Lokayukta can issue directions or pass an order directly against the persons mentioned in clauses (i) to (iv) of Section 7(1) of the Act?

c. Whether A.P. Lokayukta can take action suo motu under the Act?

2. The brief facts of the case are succinctly set out in the order of reference. Hence, for the sake of convenience, the facts, as set out in the order, are reproduced hereunder:

2. The brief facts of the case are as under:
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The petitioner and respondent No.3, who are said to be doctors by profession, got married on 23-06-2002 at Sri Satyasai Nigamagamam Kalyana Mandapam, Hyderabad, and out of their wedlock, they begot two children. Thereafter, disputes arose between them and respondent No.3 filed D.V.C.No.390 of 2012 on the file of III Metropolitan Magistrate, Hyderabad; Crime No.457 of 2012 on the file Women Police Station, CCS, DD, Hyderabad for the offences punishable under Sections 498- A, 420 IPC and Sections 4 and 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act; Crime No.94 of 2012 on the file of CID Police Station, Hyderabad, for the offences punishable under Sections 403, 409, 418, 420, 468, 471 read with 120-B of IPC; Crime No.383 of 2012 on the file of Kachiguda Police Station, Hyderabad, for the offences punishable under Section 506 IPC and Crime No.421 of 2012 on the file of Narayanaguda Police Station, Hyderabad, for the offences punishable under Sections 418 and 420 of IPC. Apart from that, civil cases are pending between them.

3. Respondent No.3 filed Crl.M.P.No.1317 of 2012 in D.V.C.No.390 of 2012, seeking protection order. The learned Magistrate, by order dated 13-12-2012, disposed of the said Crl.M.P. directing the respondents therein i.e., the petitioner herein and his family members, to allot and allocate two bedrooms, drawing hall, dining and kitchen with three bathrooms to the petitioner in the 2nd floor of the house for exclusive occupation of the petitioner and her children and consequently restrain the respondents or any of their relatives from entering into such allotted and allocated portions. He directed the protection officer to implement the order and to file report by the next date of hearing. Subsequently, the learned Magistrate, by order dated 16-01-2013, made the interim order dated 13-12-2012 absolute, but with a slight modification that the petitioner and her children shall use two bathrooms only preferably those that are attached to the two bedrooms allotted to her and further both parties are directed not to create any problems to each other and maintain peace and harmony while residing in the shared household until furthers. He directed the protection officer to implement the said orders forthwith without any delay and to report the same to the Court as early as possible, and also observed that derogation in implementation of the said order will be viewed seriously. The Protection Officer was given liberty to take the assistance of concerned police for implementation of the order.

4. However, complaining non-implementation of the said order, respondent No.3 filed complaint No.3093/2012/B1 before respondent No.1 i.e., A.P. Lokayukta, stating that in spite of the protection orders passed by the learned Magistrate, the same is not honoured by the petitioner and his parents, and they are not allowing her and her family members to live in the areas which have been allotted by the Magistrate in the protection order, and the police held is also not effective in implementing the orders. The Lokayukta entertained the complaint and, after calling for the reports from the concerned officers, by order dated 12-02-2013 directed the Deputy Director (Investigation) to go over to the place at Barkatpura and oversee strict observance and adherence to the aforesaid orders dated 16-01-2013 passed by the learned Magistrate. The Lokayukta further directed the Deputy Director (Investigation) to give instructions to the Protection Officer and the concerned SHO to be present at the time of the inspection. Thereafter, series of orders were passed by the Lokayukta. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

5. Aggrieved by the action of the Lokayukta in entertaining the complaint made by respondent No.3 and in passing the consequential directions, the petitioner filed the present writ petition seeking the reliefs stated above.

3. Mr. L. Ravichander, learned senior counsel for the petitioner, has contended that under the A.P. Lokayukta Act, 1983 (for short the Act) the Lokayukta had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint filed by the third respondent and as such, the complaint before the Lokayukta itself is not maintainable. Learned senior counsel also contended that assuming that the Lokayukta had jurisdiction, the three impugned orders passed by the Lokayukta are beyond the purview of the Act. Learned senior counsel had taken us through the various provisions of the Act to substantiate his contentions by placing strong reliance upon Section 7 of the Act, which provides for the matters, which can be investigated by the Lokayukta or the Upa-Lokayukta. Learned senior counsel would contend that the matrimonial dispute between the petitioner and the third respondent, which is pending in a separate proceeding under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and the complaints pending before the police do not fall within the purview of the Lokayukta.

4. In support of his contentions, learned senior counsel places strong reliance upon the definition of the terms allegation and action employed in Section 7 of the Act. Learned senior counsel would contend that the examination of the complaint by the third respondent before the Lokayukta would show that the complaint neither satisfies the word allegation nor the word action, as defined under the Act and thereby, Section 7 of the Act is not attracted. Learned senior counsel also alternatively submits that the impugned orders passed by the Lokayukta are contrary to the restricted power vested in the Lokayukta under Section 11 of the Act and points out that Section 10(4)(c) of the Act mandates that when other remedies are available to the complainant, which are more appropriate for the complainant to avail, it was sufficient for the Lokayukta to refuse to investigate into the complaint of the third respondent. Learned senior counsel also placed reliance upon Section 12 of the Act to substantiate that the report of the Lokayukta is required to be made to the competent authority for appropriate action, thereby, the report of the Lokayukta is only recommendatory in nature and based on the report, it is for the competent authority to take appropriate action and it is not for the Lokayukta or the Upa-Lokayukta to take action or issue directions. Various decisions of this Court are also cited at the bar, reference to which would be made hereunder at appropriate place.

5. While there was no representation on behalf of the learned standing counsel for the first respondent, Mr. Peri Prabhakar, learned counsel appearing for the third respondent opposed the writ petition by contenting that the allegations in the complaint of the third respondent before the Lokayukta would itself substantiate that her complaint, which is pending as Cr.No.94 of 2012 before the CID has not been investigated and steps taken by the complainant by approaching the Protection Officer at District Collectors Officer also remained unredressed and that her complaint before the Women Police Station, CCS and DCP, East Zone remained without initiating any action. The third respondent had, therefore, no option but to invoke the jurisdiction of the Lokayukta requesting for monitoring her complaints and to immediately take up the complaint before the Protection Officer, DVC by passing necessary orders. Learned counsel would submit that the third respondent had, accordingly, complained of complete inaction on the part of the authorities concerned and thereby, the Lokayukta was justified in taking up the complaint.

6. Learned counsel for the third respondent, therefore, justified the aforesaid orders passed by the Lokayukta as within his jurisdiction by making reference to various provisions of the Act and the Rules framed thereunder. Learned counsel, further, contended on the basis of definition of action cognizable by the Lokayukta that the Lokayukta has jurisdiction to investigate even the grievance in respect of any action as provided under Section 9 of the Act and relied upon the definition of grievance under Section 2(ea) of the Act. Learned counsel also relied upon the definition of Mal administration under Section 2(fa) of the Act to substantiate that wilful negligence in taking action or the administration procedure or practice governing such action involving undue delay is also cognizable by the Lokayukta. Learned counsel would submit that the procedure prescribed for taking action on the complaint is provided under Sections 9 and 10 of the Act wherein under Section 10(2) of the Act the Lokayukta is empowered to conduct preliminary verification in private and learned counsel places reliance upon and in particular on definition of preliminary verification under Rule 2(1)(viii) of the Andhra Pradesh Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta (Investigation) Rules, 1984 (for short the Rules). Learned counsel also relied upon Rule 5 of the Rules, which deals with preliminary verification and which provides that on hearing the complainant and on being satisfied that the complaint contains verifiable details justifying further action, to call for information, remarks, reports and further requiring any investigating agency to probe into the allegations and submit report and on being satisfied that there is prima facie case for conducting investigation into the allegation in the complaint, the Lokayukta may pass an order to that effect and direct the concerned officer of the institution to take necessary steps in that regard. Emphasis is also laid on Rule 22, which provides that the Lokayukta is empowered to give such directions as may be necessary for giving effect to the provisions of the Act and the Rules and such orders.

7. Learned counsel also places strong reliance upon the decision in A.P.S.F.D. & W ASSOCIATIONs case (1 supra), which supports his contentions. Learned counsel would also submit that the order of reference by the Division Bench did not consider the Rules and placed reliance upon two decisions of the Supreme Court in CHIEF FOREST CONSERVATOR (WILDLIFE) v. NISAR KHAN , particularly para 19 and P. KASILINGAM v. P.S.G. COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY , particularly para 20.

Question No.1:
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8. The invocation of jurisdiction of the Lokayukta as envisaged under the Act is with a specific purpose and intent, as set out in the objects and reasons. The A.P. Lokayukta Act, enacted in 1983 as AP Act 11 of 1983, was amended by AP Act 1 of 2007 and AP Act 11 of 2011. The statements and objects, to the extent relevant for this case, provide that it is an Act to make provision for the appointment and functions of the Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta for investigation of administrative action taken by or on behalf of the Government of Andhra Pradesh or certain local and public authorities in the State of Andhra Pradesh (including any omission and commission in connection with or arising out of such action) in certain cases and for matter connected therewith. By AP Act 1 of 2007, so far as is relevant, Section 2(a), as amended, was substituted and the definition of public servant under Section 2(k) was further expanded. The other amendments are not relevant for the purpose of this case. Further, under the amendment Act 11 of 2011 it was noticed that in the Act there was no mention of filing of complaint of grievance with regard to administrative action or maladministration, therefore, the words grievance and maladministration were defined and Section 2(i) was also amended to define the word officer as to mean a person appointed to public service in the State. To the extent of providing limitation, Section 8(2) was substituted by amended provision and new Section 13-A was also inserted.

9. For answering the questions posed, it is necessary to notice text of some of the provisions of the Act, as extracted hereunder:

Sec. 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) a Minister or a Secretary; or

(ii) a Member of either House of the State Legislature; or

(iii) a Mayor of the Municipal Corporation constituted by or under
the relevant law for the time being in force; or

(iii) a Vice Chancellor or a Registrar of a University

(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.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Upa-Lokayukta may
investigate any action which is taken by, or with the general or
specific approval of, any public servant, other than those referred
to in sub-section (1), 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 Upa-Lokayukta, the subject
of an allegation.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (2), the Lokayukta may,
for reasons to be recorded in writing, investigate any allegation in
respect of an action which may be investigated by the Upa-Lokayukta
under that sub-section, whether or not complaint has been made to the
Lokayukta in respect of such action.

(4) Where two or more Upa-Lokayuktas are appointed under this Act,
the Lokayukta may, by general or special order, assign to each of
them matters which may be investigated by them under this Act:

Provided that no investigation made by the Upa-Lokayukta under this
Act and no action taken or thing done by him in respect of such
investigation shall be called in question on the ground only that
such investigation relates to a matter which is not assigned to him
by such order.

10. So far as any other public servant is concerned, clause (iv) of sub-section (1) of Section 7 of the Act is relevant for our purpose. It may be noticed that the said provision empowers investigation by Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta where the complaint involves an allegation in respect of an action or in the opinion of Lokayukta such action can be or could have been the subject of an allegation. Thus, the words action and allegation used in the aforesaid provisions are required to be understood in the context of the definition of the said words under Section 2(a) and 2(b) of the Act.

They are, accordingly, extracted hereunder:

2(a) action means an administrative action taken by a public servant
by way of decision, recommendation or finding or in any other manner,
and includes any omission and commission in connection with or
arising out of such action; and all other expressions connecting
action shall be construed accordingly;

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;

It would be immediately noticed that to satisfy the definition of allegation either of the sub-clauses (i), (ii) or (iii) has to be satisfied viz. abuse of position to obtain a gain or favour to the public servant himself or to any other person or cause undue harm to any other person is essential for sub-clause (i). Similarly, discharge of functions on account of improper or corrupt motive, which results in loss to the State or any other member of the public, is essential for sub-clause (ii) and the public servant, who is guilty of corruption or lack of integrity will attract sub-clause (iii). http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

11. In contrast to the above, definition of action, as defined, means an administrative action of a public servant by way of a decision, recommendation or finding or in any other manner including omissions or commissions. Thus, while appreciating the word action, the qualification to allegation as required under sub-clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of clause (b) of Section 2 of the Act, seemingly, appears to be not attracted. Learned counsel for the third respondent, therefore, proceeded to contend that any action including omission or commission is cognizable by the Lokayukta. However, Section 7(1)(iv) of the Act, extracted above, would show that the word action used under that provision is linked with the word allegation. Thus, any action which has been taken or can be taken or could have been taken must be related to allegation. In other words, therefore, the word action must be actuated by any of the motives under sub-clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of clause (b) of Section 2 of the Act. Thus, it clearly excludes any action unconnected with the allegation. The words action and allegation, as used in the Act, have, therefore, to be read and understood conjointly and not in isolation. It, therefore, appears to us that it is not every action or inaction, which falls within the purview of Section 7 of the Act but only such actions or omissions, which involve an allegation or could involve an allegation, alone are subject to investigation under Section 7 of the Act. As a fortiori, therefore, it is not every action or inaction, which is cognizable under Section 7 of the Act, as redressal for such actions or inactions is otherwise available under judicial review by the Constitutional Courts. The Legislature, therefore, specifically enacted the AP Act 11 of 1983 with a view to provide a mechanism for redressal of actions, which are actuated with allegations, as defined and that also explains Section 22 of the Act, which states that the provisions of this Act are in addition to the existing enactment or rule or law for which remedy is any other manner available. The institution of Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta cannot, therefore, be understood as an alternative mechanism created by the Legislature for judicial review of any action or omission and on the contrary, under the said special law, actions or inactions involving allegations alone fall within the domain of Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta, as the case may be.

12. The said question already fell for consideration before a Division Bench in S. JAGADEESWAR v. THE LOK AYUKTA OF ANDHRA PRADESH and in para 6 of the decision, it is held as follows:

6. A reading of the definition makes it further clear that the
allegation has to be about some particular act which may be either a
commission or omission but never a vague submission or a generalised
one. Section 9 of the Act prescribes the manner in which the
complaints are made saying that every complaint shall be made in such
form and shall be accompanied by such affidavits as may be
prescribed. The complaint has to relate, under the section, to an
allegation in respect of any action.

The said question again fell for consideration before another Division Bench (to which one of us, VVA, J, is a party) in WP.No.10492 of 2000 dated 27.08.2009 titled, C. RAGHUPATI v. UPALOKAYUKTA, wherein interpreting the words action and allegation, it was held in para 8 and para 10, relevant portion, as under:

8. It is to be noticed that in order to constitute an allegation
under the above provision, the public servant must have abused his
position to obtain any gain or favour to himself or to any other
person, or to cause undue harm or hardship to any other person. The
abuse of position must be linked with gain or favour to the public
servant himself or any other person or undue harm or hardship to any
other person and the public servant must have been actuated in the
discharge of his functions by improper or corrupt motive and thereby
caused to the State or any member or section of the public. Both the
said ingredients must be satisfied in order to justify action under
the Act with respect to an allegation. The word allegation as defined
under the Act is, therefore, specifically couched by the legislature
in a language which makes it mandatory that the twin ingredients are
necessary to be fulfilled. The existence and satisfaction of such
essential ingredients therefore amounts to an existence of
jurisdictional fact for exercise of the power under the Act

10. It would also substantiate that the word action defined under
Section 2 (a) of the Act has necessarily to be in connection with and
to be read along with definition of allegation and is not as if mere
action without proving an allegation is sufficient. The contention of
the learned counsel for 1st respondent in that respect is, therefore,
not sustainable.

Even in the order of reference, the Division Bench recorded its opinion in para 17 in the following words:

17. It is not every administrative action taken by the persons
mentioned in clauses (i) to (iv) which can be investigated under
Section 7(1), but only an action in respect of which an allegation is
made in a complaint or an action which can, in the opinion of the
Lokayukta, be the subject of an allegation. Section 7(1) read with
Section 2(a) and (b) of the Act shows that it is only an
administrative action taken by persons, mentioned in clauses (i) to
(iv) of Section 7(1), in abuse of their position to obtain any gain
or favour, or to cause undue harm or hardship, or is actuated by
improper or corrupt motive and has thereby caused loss to the State
or any member of the section of the public, or for corrupt motives,
which can be investigated by the Lokayukta. Investigation of
administrative action, which does not relate an allegation as defined
in Section 2(b), is beyond the scope of Section 7(1) of the Act. As
an investigation cannot be caused into any administrative action,
which does not involve an allegation, no preliminary verification can
be caused into such administrative action also.

13. We record our concurrence with the aforesaid view and as discussed above, it has to be held that any action, which falls within sub-section (2) of Section 7 of the Act or any administrative action by a public servant, which has nexus with the allegation, as above, alone falls within the domain of jurisdiction of the Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta and not every action or inaction, which has no nexus with the allegation as defined under the Act.

14. At this stage, it would be appropriate to examine the decision relied upon by the learned counsel for the third respondent in A.P.S.F.D. & W ASSOCIATIONs case (1 supra) wherein another Division Bench was called upon to examine this question arising out of order passed by the Lokayukta issuing directions to appoint certain persons in Gangavaram Port Limited as part of Rehabilitation and Resettlement Package. In that context, while upholding the said order, the Division Bench held in para 18 as follows:

18. In our considered opinion, even when a representation cannot be
treated as a complaint containing an allegation but complaining an
action, inaction or omission by or at the best of public servant, HTL
is bound to conduct preliminary verification if he is of opinion that
such preliminary verification is necessary in the interest of
accountability, purity and transparency of administration. We are
also convinced that preliminary verification into all complaints need
not lead to investigation and report under Section 12 of the Act
warranting disciplinary action against the erring public servant. In
his discretion, HTL can at the stage of preliminary verification
itself set right the action as well as actors so as to reduce effects
of mal administration. In every complaint, there need not be charges
of corruption or corrupt motive and even in such cases, it is
competent for HTL to summon the public servants alleged of inaction,
action and of commission and can express displeasure so that a strong
message goes out that there is omnipresent HTL to oversee
administrative excesses. The reasons for this conclusion are as
follows.

The Division Bench, further, proceeded to hold in para 21 as follows:

21. A complaint may not contain the allegations as defined under
Section 2(b) of the Act. But an averment in complaint that the
inaction or omission or commission resulted in hardship to complaint
would be sufficient to attract the jurisdiction of HTL.

15. With great respect, we are unable to accept the said view and in our opinion such interpretation would be contrary to Section 7(1)(iv) of the Act as mere action without its nexus with the allegation would not be in the domain of the Lokayukta. Had that been the intent of the Legislature, Section 7(1)(iv) of the Act would not have clarified the word action by linking it with the word allegation. Thus, it is not that each and every action or omission is cognizable, as rightly found by three other Division Benches of this Court, as extracted above. In our opinion, therefore, the aforesaid decision deserves to be overruled and is accordingly overruled.

16. So far as two decisions relied upon by the learned counsel for the third respondent are concerned, the decision in CHIEF FOREST CONSERVATORs case (2 supra) is a case of licensing arising under the Wild Life (Protection) Act. Learned counsel relied upon only one sentence in para 19 of the said judgment, which is as under:

19. It is now well settled that when rules are validly framed, they
should be treated as a part of the Act Another decision in P.
KASILINGAMs case (3 supra) is a case arising out of T.N. Private
Colleges (Regulation) Act, 1976 and learned counsel for the third
respondent relied upon a passage in para 20 of the decision, which is
as under:

20. It is accepted principle of statutory constructions that rules
made under a statute are a legitimate aid to construction of the
statute as contemporanea expositio (See: Craies on Statute law, 7th
Edn., pp. 157-158; Tata Engineering and Locomotive co. Ltd. v. Gram
Panchayat, Pimpri Waghere) [(1976) 4 SCC 177

17. Based on the above decisions, learned counsel for the third respondent placed strong reliance upon Rules 5 and 22 of the Rules and the definition of preliminary verification as defined under Rule 2(1)(viii) of the Rules, which is as under: 2(1)(viii) Preliminary verification means any inquiry or other proceedings conducted by the Lokayukta or Upa- Lokayukta in connection with a complaint or on his own motion for the purpose of satisfying himself as to whether there are any grounds for conducting an investigation into such complaint.

Learned counsel would submit that under Rule 5 of the Rules, after registration of a complaint, Lokayukta or Up-Lokayukta, as the case may be, is empowered to make their own preliminary investigation and is empowered to call for remarks, information, report from any Departmental Authority or Officer and require any investigating agency to probe into the allegations in the complaint and submit report.

Rule 22 of the Rules provide as follows:

22. Power of Lokayukta to give directions: –

The Lokayukta may, by order not inconsistent with these rules,
provide for matters for which no provision has been made in these
rules, and may give such directions as may be necessary for giving
effect to the provisions of the Act, the rules and such orders.

Learned counsel would contend that after examining the
complainant/third respondent, the Lokayukta issued necessary
direction to conduct preliminary investigation in terms of Rule 5 of
the Rules and on being satisfied, gave appropriate directions for
which also Rule 22 of the Rules empowers the Lokayukta.

18. We find it difficult to accept the said submissions for two principal reasons viz. firstly, the Rules cannot override the provisions of the Act and have always been held to supplement the Act and not to supplant the Act. Secondly, the submissions of the learned counsel overlooks the definition of complaint under Rule 2(1)(iii) of the Rules, which is extracted hereunder:

2(1)(iii) Complaint means a statement made in writing to the
Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta by a complainant containing an allegation
against a public servant in respect of an action taken by such public
servant.

It would be immediately noticed that a complaint necessitating action by the Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta must be such, which contains an allegation against public servant. Obviously, therefore, where the complaint lacks any allegation it cannot be a complaint within the meaning of the Act and no further action is warranted under the Act. Copy of the complaint, in the present case, merely sets out the hardship caused to the third respondent arising out a matrimonial dispute with the petitioner wherein she is stated to have already given a complaint, which is registered as an FIR, and she also states about the complaint having been lodged before the CBCID and the crime registered thereunder. The third respondent also speaks of invocation of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and the action required to be taken by the Protection Officer, which he failed to take and that the police authorities failed to investigate her complaints. In the conclusion, therefore, the third respondent seeks the Institution of Lokayukta to monitor the complaints including the one made before the Protection Officer and pass necessary orders. At best, therefore, the complaint discloses alleged inaction but there is no semblance of an allegation as defined under the Act and cannot be said to fall within the definition of complaint under Rule 2(1)(iii) of the Rules. Obviously, therefore, in the absence of satisfaction of the necessary ingredients, the complaint did not fall within the domain of Section 7 of the Act. Consequently, therefore, the crucial jurisdictional fact was clearly absent and thereby, the entertainment of the complaint by the Lokayukta was clearly impermissible under the Act.

19. So far as three impugned directions given by the Lokayukta are concerned, learned counsel for the third respondent defended the said orders under Rule 22 of the Rules by contending that they are part of preliminary verification permissible under Rule 5 of the Rules. We are, however, of the view that when the Act itself does not empower the Lokayukta to issue any directions of the nature, as issued under the impugned order, neither the Rules can be read so as to defeat the object and purpose of the Act nor the Rules can override the provisions of the Act. The power of Lokayukta to undertake preliminary verification arises only in the event of registration of the complaint and on its, prima facie, satisfaction that all the essential ingredients required to be maintained in the complaint under Section 7 of the Act are satisfied. Thus, as discussed above, when the complaint of the third respondent sans any such allegation cognizable under Section 7 of the Act, all further proceedings including the impugned orders, in our view, cannot be sustained. http://evinayak.tumblr.com/ ; https://vinayak.wordpress.com/ ; http://fromvinayak.blogspot.com

20. We, accordingly, answer question No.1 in the negative and hold that the Lokayukta has no jurisdiction to entertain a complaint, which neither involves an allegation nor involves any action or inaction connected with such an allegation. We also hold that inter se private disputes between the parties including matrimonial dispute does not fall within the purview of the jurisdiction of the Lokayukta under the Act and that only such acts, which are actuated by allegation against public servants and the authorities as named under Section 7 of the Act alone fall within the domain of the Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayukta, as the case may be. The discussion, as above, also answers question No.2 in the negative. Question No.3, however, does not arise on the facts and circumstances of the case and would amount to adjudication on hypothetical question. Hence, the said question is left open.

Reference is answered accordingly.

___________________ DILIP B. BHOSALE, ACJ ______________________ VILAS V. AFZULPURKAR, J ___________ S.V. BHATT, J

August 28, 2015

DSK

A reference was made to the Full Bench vide order dated 14.06.2013. We have heard learned counsel for parties appearing on two sittings on 10.07.2015 and 24.07.2015. Today this reference is posted for pronouncement of judgment. Before pronouncement of the judgment, Mr. P.V. Vidya Sagar, learned standing counsel for respondent No.1, Lokayukta, submitted that he has filed a miscellaneous petition bearing WPMP(SR).No.154387 of 2015 yesterday and that it may be heard before pronouncement of the judgment.

When we asked Mr. P.V. Vidya Sagar about the prayer in the miscellaneous petition, he submitted that respondent No.1, Lokayukta, was not heard when the reference was heard on 10.07.2015 and 24.07.2015. We are informed by the Court Officer, on the basis of record, that Mr. P.V. Vidya Sagar was present when the matter was heard on two different dates. We do not know why he did not make any submissions on behalf of respondent No.1. Despite this, we called for the miscellaneous petition filed on behalf of respondent No.1 to know and understand what is it about, but, we are informed that in view of the objections, the said petition has been returned by the Registry. In view thereof, the question of hearing miscellaneous petition does not arise and hence, we proceeded to pronounce the judgment.

__________________ DILIP B. BHOSALE, ACJ ______________________ VILAS V. AFZULPURKAR, J ___________ S.V. BHATT, J

August 28, 2015

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