Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Now Law Ministry weighs in: L-G nod must for Janlokpal

The ministry also said that Rules 55 and 56 of the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1991 are constitutional. (PTI) The ministry also said that Rules 55 and 56 of the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1991 are constitutional. (PTI)
Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Posted: February 13, 2014 3:26 am | Updated: February 13, 2014 8:11 am

In a rebuff to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Union law and justice ministry Wednesday told Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung that the controversial Delhi Janlokpal Bill, 2014 is a financial Bill and and it is “mandatory” for the government to get his approval before it is introduced in the Assembly.

The ministry also said that Rules 55 and 56 of the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1991 are constitutional. The opinion was sent to the Union home ministry by Law Secretary P K Malhotra.

Jung had written to Law Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday, seeking his ministry’s advice on whether his approval was required before introducing the Bill in the Assembly and also whether Rules 55 and 56 of the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1991 are constitutionally valid.

“In respect of the first issue, it may be mentioned that the enactment of the Delhi Janlokpal Bill involves the creation of a Janlokpal and establishment of new infrastructure and facilities, which will involve expenditure and result in appropriation of money out of the Consolidated Fund of the Capital,” the ministry said.

“As per the provisions incorporated in Section 22 (of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991), the Delhi Janlokpal Bill is a financial Bill and it is mandatory that such a Bill shall not be introduced in the legislative Assembly except on the recommendations of the Lieutenant-Governor.

“Further, as the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 on the same subject has already been enacted by the Parliament, the placing of the said Bill before the L-G will ensure that the law prevails in the state, when the same after passing by the Assembly is reserved for consideration of the President and receives his assent as provided under Article 239AA(3)(c).”

Referring to the L-G’s second query, the opinion points out that Rules 55 and 56 were framed by the MHA and have been in existence without being challenged.

“It is now well settled that unless a law or rules made thereunder have been challenged before a court and have been held to be unconstitutional, there is a presumption in favour of the constitutionality of the legislation…we are inclined to agree with the views of the referring ministry that the rules do not appear to be unconstitutional or ultra vires the Act of 1991,” it said.

Rule 55 (I) of the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT continued…

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