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Kejriwal-Centre showdown likely as AAP set to table Janlokpal Bill despite Law Ministry’s view

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: February 13, 2014 11:39 am

Heading for a confrontation with the Centre, the Arvind Kejriwal government has declared it was going ahead with tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi assembly on Thursday, ignoring Union Law Ministry’s view that the Centre’s prior approval was required.

The hardening of the AAP government’s stand came even as Congress and BJP held the move by the ruling dispensation as “unconstitutional”.

“There is no rethinking in our position. We are going ahead with tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill,” a senior government official said tonight.

The Union Law Ministry has held that the rules governing Delhi government’s legislative business were constitutional where Centre’s consent was required before its passage. Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday had sought Law Ministry’s view on the vexed issue.

Sources in the government earlier in the day said the Jan Lokpal Bill will be tabled in the House tomorrow and there will be no rethinking on its introduction.

The Law Ministry has held that the Transaction of Business Rules (TBR) make it mandatory that the Lt Governor refer to the Centre every legislative proposal which may necessitate additional financial assistance.

The four-day session of the Assembly is being convened to pass the Jan Lokpal and Swaraj Bills. The AAP government has announced plans to hold the last day of the session at the Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been maintaining that there is no need to obtain prior approval from the Centre while BJP and Congress are of the view that clearance was necessary under Transaction of Business Rules (TBR), 2002.

A senior official said as per laid down procedure, voting for introduction of the Bill will take place and Congress and BJP will have the option of opposing tabling of the Bill.

On Sunday, Kejriwal had threatened to resign if his pet anti-graft legislation is not passed by the state Assembly due to lack of support from other parties.

First Published on: February 13, 201411:19 am
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