Experts back L-G’s stand not to allow Jan Lokpal Bill
Senior advocate and former additional solicitor general Vikas Singh said: “The Lieutenant Governor is right. He could not have allowed introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill without prior approval of the Union ministry.india Updated: Feb 15, 2014 01:55 IST
As the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday “sacrificed” its government in Delhi over the Jan Lokpal Bill, legal experts justified the stand taken by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung that the bill could not have been introduced in the Assembly without the prior approval of the Union home ministry.
Rule 55 of the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993, prescribes certain conditions wherein the Lieutenant Governor will have to refer a legislative proposal to the Central government before it is tabled in the Assembly.
This includes bills relating to any matter, which may ultimately necessitate additional financial assistance from the central government through substantive expenditure from the consolidated fund of the capital or abandonment of revenue or lowering of the rate of any tax.
“I don’t think there is any scope for controversy. The NCT Act, Transaction of Business Rules and provisions under the Constitution are very clear on this issue. You require prior approval of the home ministry and L-G for introduction of any bill that can be termed as a Finance Bill,” former Lok Sabha secretary general and eminent constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap told HT.
“Even in the Lok Sabha, a Finance Bill cannot be introduced without prior approval of the President. How can you allow such a thing in the Delhi Assembly?” Kashyap wondered.
Senior advocate and former additional solicitor general Vikas Singh said: “The Lieutenant Governor is right. He could not have allowed introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill without prior approval of the Union ministry.
“If you don’t agree with a law, you can amend the law in question or you can challenge it in a court and get it declared illegal. But so long as the law is there, as a chief minister you are supposed to follow the law. You cannot flout the law,” Singh said.
Both Kashyap and Singh said the AAP government somehow wanted to exit and then claim “martyrdom” on the issue of Jan Lokpal.