AAP Govt says LG’s panel illegal, asks it to halt scrutiny

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Terming as “illegal” the panel set up by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to scrutinize 400 files, Delhi Government on Tuesday requested it to discontinue work till the Supreme Court verdict on powers of the LG.

The decision to ask the three-member panel to stop scrutiny of files was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal which observed that the exercise has brought government’s “important works” to a halt.

“During discussion, the Cabinet found that Lt Governor doesn’t have any power to constitute such panel to examine files of Delhi government and that it is illegal. As the members of panel are eminent persons, we request them not to scrutinise files till the Supreme Court rules in the matter,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.

Jung last month had constituted the panel to examine around 400 files. It was claimed that they contained “infirmities and irregularities” and that decisions based on the file notings were violative of laid down norms and procedures.

The appointment of the panel comprising former CAG V K Shunglu, former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami and ex-Chief Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar, came after Delhi High Court ruled that the Lt Governor is the administrative head of the city government.

The AAP government had approached the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court order and the apex court listed the matter for final hearing on November 15.

The Cabinet noted that the three-member panel was also summoning officers in connection with its examination of these files and in the entire process, the respective ministers are being kept in dark.

The Delhi Cabinet also resolved that Sisodia will write to members of panel to convey the concern of the Cabinet and also request it to keep its functioning in abeyance till the apex court gives order in the matter.

The Cabinet also noted that neither the Constitution nor the GNCTD Act, 1991 or the Transaction of Business Rules made Lt Govenor confer any sanctity on appointment of such a committee or its examination of the current files of government.

It further noted that the role, functions and powers of the LG vis-a-vis the elected government of Delhi is under consideration of the Supreme Court and the final hearing of the matter has been fixed for 15 November.

(With PTI inputs)

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