The Delhi government has asked a panel set up by lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung to discontinue work till the Supreme Court gives its verdict on the role and powers of the L-G.
The three-member committee was set up to scrutinise around 400 files cleared by the Aam Aadmi Party government in the last one and a half years.
Calling the panel “illegal”, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said, “The Cabinet found the L-G doesn’t have any power to constitute such panel to examine files of Delhi government and it is illegal. As the members of the panel are eminent persons, we request them not to scrutinise files till the Supreme Court rules in the matter,” Sisodia said.
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday. The cabinet resolved that Sisodia will write to members of the panel to request them to keep their functioning in abeyance till the apex court gives an order in the matter.
“The cabinet noted that the exercise has brought government’s ‘important works’ to a halt. It has also created a feeling of uncertainty and fear among officers. As a result, public interest is gravely affected,” the cabinet observed.
Jung had constituted the panel last month. It was claimed that they contained “infirmities and irregularities” and that decisions based on the file notings violated norms and procedures.
The appointment of the panel comprising former CAG VK Shunglu, former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and ex-chief vigilance commissioner Pradeep Kumar, came after the Delhi high court ruled the LG is the administrative head of the Delhi government.
The AAP government had approached the Supreme Court challenging the HC 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 the files and in the process, respective ministers are being kept in the dark.
The cabinet also noted that neither the Constitution nor the GNCTD Act (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Act), 1991 or the Transaction of Business Rules made the L-G confer any sanctity or locus on the appointment of such a committee or its examination of the current files of government.