Oppn, L-G ‘masters of misinterpretation’, says Delhi deputy CM Sisodia
Delhi’s deputy CM Manish Sisodia said several months were “wasted” as important proposals of the government, including education loans, mohalla clinics, patient welfare committees and health insurance, were delayed due to the L-G’s “obstructionist role.”delhi Updated: Aug 10, 2018 11:41 IST
Coming down heavily on the Opposition and lieutenant-governor (L-G) Anil Baijal in the Delhi Assembly, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators were “masters of misinterpreting” laws.
Speaking on the fourth day of the Delhi Assembly’s Monsoon Session, Sisodia thanked the Supreme Court for its “historic” July 4 verdict and said the apex court kept in mind the “tactics” of the L-G and the BJP MLAs while delivering its judgment on the power tussle in Delhi.
Sisodia said, “The SC has gone into such detail by giving examples of different phrases used in official communications such as ‘send a copy be to the L-G’ or ‘forward it to the L-G’, so that the rules under the transaction of business rules are not misused. It has stated that these phrases do not mean L-G’s concurrence is needed in all subjects. He just needs to be informed. Misinterpretation ke ustaad ho... iss liye SC ne yahan tak detail mein bol diya (You are masters of misinterpretation, which is why SC has clarified in detail.”)
The deputy CM said several months were “wasted” as important proposals of the government, including education loans, mohalla clinics, patient welfare committees and health insurance, were delayed due to the L-G’s “obstructionist role.”
“The SC’s order has ended the obstructionist role of the L-G and the manipulations of the Opposition by empowering the elected representatives of people. The SC was aware of the repeated foul play by the L-G office and the Opposition (and) that is why it elaborated the provisions, technical words and their meanings in the judgment to avoid any misreading of the Constitution,” he said.
Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta, however, said from 1993 to 2004, Delhi functioned smoothly despite having two different governments at the Centre and the state. The L-G’s office did not comment on the issue.
The SC, in its order on July 4, defined the role of the elected government and the L-G in the city’s administration. It had ruled that the L-G was bound by the “aid and advice” of the council of ministers and also stated that the L-G did not have independent decision-making powers. The apex court, however, had put the matter related to “services” before the regular bench. The services department, which deals with transfers and postings of officers, is currently with the L-G as a “reserved subject”.
“The SC specifically clarified that the word ‘any matter’ does not mean ‘every matter’ so that the L-G doesn’t ask for every file. The order further specifies that the L-G shall be informed about the decisions made by the council of ministers but his concurrence is not required,” Sisodia said.
Drawing a parallel with the British rule in India, Sisodia alleged the L-G was behaving like a viceroy and was delaying the government projects before the SC order.
“The L-G had unnecessarily delayed government’s student loan scheme by 402 days, and mohalla clinic project by 101 days. All this was done to take revenge from Delhi people as they voted for the AAP. Such a conduct was akin to British rule in the country,” Sisodia said.
The minister also said that the constitution bench of the apex court clearly mentioned that the Legislative Assembly of Delhi has power to make laws on all matters in the state list of the constitution barring three subjects — public order, police and land.
He added that the L-G office and the opposition were interpreting the SC order in a “strange” manner as they had been citing a MHA notification of 2015 and maintained that service department, which is responsible for transfer and posting of officers, rested with them.
BJP’s Vjiender Gupta, on the other hand, said the AAP government should not “jump the gun” on the matter of services as the case is still pending before the regular bench in the SC.
“Till the decision is given by the bench, the present position with regard to services and anti-corruption branch will hold. The AAP government is not understanding the SC order which clearly has described the ‘special status’ enjoyed by Delhi under which some subject are bound to be out of the purview of the elected government,” Gupta said.
First Published: Aug 10, 2018 11:22 IST