Breach of privilege notice to Chief Secretary only adds fuel to fire: High Court

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The Delhi High Court on Monday observed that the notice served to Chief Secretary in the Arvind Kejriwal government directing him to appear before the Committee of Privileges added fuel to fire. The HC added that both bureaucracy and the elected government should have taken steps to calm tempers. 

High Court
PHOTO: New Indian Express

Prakash had moved the Delhi High Court appealing against a notice by the Question and Reference Committee directing him to appear before it on 5 March related to Rs 100 crore scam in Delhi Nagrik Sehkari Bank.

Prakash was first asked to appear before the panel on 21 February, two days after he claimed to have been assaulted by AAP MLAs at Kejriwal’s residence. He first expressed his inability to appear before the committee citing his meeting at the PMO. However, when he was asked to appear at 5 PM the same day, Prakash once again said that he could not appear because of health reasons. The committee once again served him a notice on 23 February before sending him another notice on 1 March directing him to appear on 5 March (today).

Earlier today, the matter was mentioned before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar. Advocate Vivek Chib, appearing for the chief secretary, sought quashing of the notice and submitted that Prakash was “summoned to appear before the privilege committee for inquiry without being provided any copy of the complaint or opportunity to respond to the same,” reported PTI.

In 2013, several members of Delhi Nagrik Sahkari Bank had complained to Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) under the Delhi government and the Reserve Bank of India alleging fraudulent loans that contributed to the rise in NPAs with the help of the directors. The RBI, for its part, had launched a probe, which confirmed fraudulent loans in the Lajpat Nagar branch of the bank.

Meanwhile, an AAP MLA and also a member of the Committee of Privileges implied that Prakash had lied on oath in the High Court.

“We have learnt that the CS has moved the High Court challenging the breach of privilege notice served to him by accusing us of arm-twisting him in a matter related to alleged attack on him. But he is hiding the fact that the meeting was related to rising NPAs,” PTI quoted AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj as saying.

 

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