BJP’s Vijender Gupta may face action for terming Delhi assembly committees ‘unconstitutional’
The matter pertains to a press release issued by the office of the LoP on August 2, which said Gupta had written to lieutenant governor Anil Baijal requesting him to take necessary steps to ‘dismantle unconstitutional house committees of the Delhi Assembly like special inquiry committees (SIC)delhi Updated: Aug 08, 2017 23:34 IST
Taking offence to the press note by leader of the opposition Vijender Gupta demanding dismantling of House committees, the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution to send the issue to the privilege committee.
Hitting out at Gupta over the issue on the first day of Monsoon Session, AAP legislators describe Gupta’s statement as an ‘insult to the assembly and the people who elected its representatives’ and demanded the Speaker to review the decision of granting leader of the opposition (LoP) status to the BJP MLA from Rohini.
The matter pertains to a press release issued by the office of the LoP on August 2, which said Gupta had written to lieutenant governor Anil Baijal requesting him to take necessary steps to ‘dismantle unconstitutional house committees of the Delhi Assembly like special inquiry committees (SIC) and the department related standing committees (DRSCs), in view of the legal opinion expressed by additional solicitor general of India.
Speaking during the discussion, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia suspected “malafide” intention behind the Gupta’s demand.
“Being a part of the executive (government), I do not have any objection over the functioning of the House committees despite the fact that even ministers could be summoned by them. I fail to understand why the BJP is making such baseless demand,” Sisodia said.
The deputy CM also said that it was “strange” that a member of the House has demanded to “curtail power” of its committees.
Greater Kailash legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj, who is the chairperson of Petitions Committee — which had recently slammed the PWD Secretary over desilting of drains— moved a resolution seeking to refer Gupta’s issue to the House Privilege Committee.
Even as he cited examples of effectiveness of house committees in making the executive ‘accountable’, Bharadwaj also cited transaction of business rules defining the supremacy of the house and the Speaker in functioning of the assembly and it committees.
“Arguments are being made that sub-judice matters can’t be taken up by the committees. Section 37 of the GNCTD Act clearly mentions that the proceedings in the legislative assembly shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure,” Bharadwaj said.
“There are several cases like desilting of drains, preparedness to deal with chikungunya and dengue cases being heard in various courts, but the House committees are separately looking at these issues, and it was not against laid down rules,” he argued.
Gupta said the move by the treasury benches was ”undemocratic and a conspiracy by the government to suppress the opposition and protect its misdeeds”.
“I wrote to the L-G as the issue is an academic matter, on which even the additional solicitor general has shared his views. His opinion has been reported in the media and I raised the issue in that context. How does that amount to breach of privilege?” Gupta told Hindustan Times.