A Delhi assembly panel on Tuesday recommended contempt proceedings against south MCD commissioner Puneet Goel and urban development secretary of Delhi government, Janak Diggal, for not appearing before it.
The Questions and References Committee had summoned the department heads of south MCD, urban development department and power utility BSES to depose before it in a matter related to local area development fund of AAP legislators.
The two officers, however, failed to appear and were instead represented by their deputies and other officers, citing other government engagements.
The committee termed their absence a breach of privilege of Delhi assembly, hence recommended contempt proceedings to the Speaker against the two officers, besides directing the officers to be present in the next sitting of the committee on December 19.
The development comes at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party has been accusing the BJP-ruled civic bodies of ‘stalling’ development work being recommended by AAP legislators from their local area fund.
“The SDMC commissioner has failed to appear in any of the meetings of the committee in the past on this issue. In absence of the department heads, the entire exercise of two-and-a-half hours today did not yield any result. Therefore, we have recommended contempt proceedings against the officers,” said Rakhi Bidlan, deputy speaker and chairman of the questions and reference committee.
The committee had summoned the officers to record statements of south MCD and urban development department officers related to information about the status of development work being carried out from MLA fund. The matter was referred to the committee by the Speaker on request from AAP legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj , who did the most of the questioning from the officers present at the meeting on Tuesday.
The AAP legislators have been alleging that the BJP-ruled MCDs have been deliberately putting up ‘obstacles’ in the way of their implementation.
Delhi assembly officials said the recommendation will go to Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, who will take a call on it further. “If the Speaker prima facie finds merit in the arguments of the committee, he would forward it for action to the Privileges Committee for further action,” a senior official said.