New Delhi: In a major twist, Delhi Lokayukta's recommendation to sack Delhi PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, who has been alleged to play an important role in protecting a leading resort in a tax evasion case, was rejected by President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday.

The Home Ministry today conveyed the decision of the President to the Lokayukta through a letter.

"The President has not accepted the findings and recommendations made by the Lokayukta against Chauhan," sources familiar with the contents of the letter informed.

Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin had in February recommended to the President to "withdraw her pleasure" for the Minister to continue in office, holding him guilty of misconduct of "grave nature".

Justice Sarin's order had come in a case pertaining to Chauhan's alleged involvement in influencing a team of tax officials when they were carrying out a survey in the Tivoli Garden resort in South Delhi in February last year.

The Lokayukta order had said that "the Minister made a telephone call to the Commissioner of Trade of Taxes in the evening of February 20 last year when a team of tax officials were carrying search and survey at the premises of Tivoli Garden Resort to unearth huge evasion of taxes and concealment  of income."

Earlier this month, Delhi government had sent a detailed report to the Union Home Ministry rejecting the Lokayukta's recommendation. The Home Ministry had asked Delhi Government to file a report on Lokayukta's recommendation.

In his defence, Chauhan had said as public representative, he gets lots of calls from people requesting for favours and he only responded to such a call.

Agencies