The Central Information Commission on Wednesday ordered Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung’s office to make public his report to the home ministry that formed the basis for the dissolution of the Delhi Assembly in 2014.
The commission rejected Raj Niwas’ contention that its report was privileged, asserting that the Lt-Governor did not enjoy the constitutional bar on courts from inquiring into the advice tendered by ministers to the Governor of a state.
Jung’s report paved the way for holding of fresh polls in the Capital which was under President’s Rule from February, 2014 after the AAP government quit after 49 days of rule.
In his report to President Pranab Mukherjee, Jung had pointed out that the three main political parties had expressed their inability to form the government and conveyed that they were ready to face fresh election.
The CIC cited nine reasons why the Lt-Governor’s office was wrong in withholding the information including the need for transparency in the decision-making process regarding dissolving an elected house in public interest.
The commission directed the Lt-Governor and the union home ministry to provide copies of the report along with all documents sent to the Centre to the applicant, a Chhattisgarh resident, within 30 days.
Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu wondered why the Lt-Governor was reluctant to share the information when many governors and the home ministry -- that is responsible for Delhi’s affairs – has had no qualms.
Citing specific instances where governors, the home ministry and the Attorney General had positively responded to requests for information, Acharyulu asked: “Then, how it is logical or legal to deny the report of the LG advising the Union Government to dissolve the Delhi State Assembly and other related papers.”