L-G’s message to Assembly triggers fresh war of words between AAP govt and Baijal
The Delhi Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution to form a committee to look into the legality of a message by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal over the Department Related Standing Committees (DRSCs).delhi Updated: Oct 11, 2017 23:41 IST
The Delhi Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution to form a committee to look into the legality of a message by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal over the Department Related Standing Committees (DRSCs).
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia termed the L-G’s message “unconstitutional”, in which Baijal had asked the Speaker to withdraw the newly inserted Legislative Assembly Rules which he felt gave way more powers to the House committees compared to the ones formed under the Lok Sabha Rules.
The DRSCs provide necessary direction, guidance and inputs for broad policy formulations to the ministries and departments under their jurisdiction.
In his September 13 message, Baijal pointed out that the new Assembly rules did not include the one that states that the committees “would not consider the matters of day to day administration of the departments concerned”.
Speaking during a discussion on Baijal’s message in the Delhi Assembly, Sisodia said the L-G’s message to the House had “no legal sanctity” as he did not seek the aid and advice of the council of ministers headed by the Chief Minister over the matter.
The deputy CM cited Supreme Court judgments to support his argument. “The SC judgment in the Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix versus Deputy Speaker, Arunachal Pradesh legislative Assembly case, clearly states that the messages addressed by the Governor to the House have to be in consonance with the aid and advice tendered to him,” Sisodia said.
He also questioned the intent of the L-G in sending the note, saying that the President has not sent any letter to the Lok Sabha to date and added that the intent of the DRSCs was to fix accountability in the bureaucracy.
He also rebutted allegation by the leader of the Opposition Vijender Gupta that the committees never summoned the ministers. “The Delhi Assembly is bigger than the ministers. If need be and if the committees summon any of the ministers of Delhi government, we will not hesitate to give explanations (to the panels).”
Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti moved the resolution to form a committee in the matter. The panel will have nine members, including one MLA from the opposition, Jagdish Pradhan of the BJP.
Speaker warns Secretary to L-G
Speaker, Ram Niwas Goel, warned principal secretary to the L-G Vijay Kumar and other officers that they should be careful in dealing with the matters of the Delhi Assembly.
“I have enough material on record as well as statements that prove that the message was leaked by Mr. Vijay Kumar,” he said and called it “mischievous”.
Goel urged the L-G to intervene in the issue and caution his staff.
The Speaker also blamed the L-G’s office of manipulating facts. “A backdated letter was created in the name of Home Secretary, containing the contents from the letter just so that media could quote from it. Unfortunately, in their hurry, the officers of the L-G’s Secretariat wrongly addressed the letter to the retired Home Secretary,” Goel said.