Responding to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s angry attack that questioned his loyalty to the constitution, Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung has defended himself strongly and said he was strictly going by the book on the controversial Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by the city government.
Jung said he had sought the Union law ministry’s opinion on Kejriwal’s claim that there was no need to seek the Centre’s approval before the Bill is tabled in the Assembly even though the predominant view backed the need for such approval.
He also urged Kejriwal to reconsider his decision to hold an Assembly session at the Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium to pass the Bill on grounds of security and law enforcement.
Responding to this, the chief minister said if the Delhi Police is “incompetent” to provide security, then adequate paramilitary forces and other forces should be sought from the Central government for the job.
Kejriwal had slammed Jung Friday for seeking the opinion of the Solicitor General on the constitutionality of the Bill and said he should be loyal to the constitution and not a party or the home ministry.
A statement from Jung’s office said Monday that the L-G had replied to Kejriwal on Friday itself, clarifying his “need to follow procedures as mandated under the constitution of India” with regard to the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Referring to rule 34 of the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993, Jung highlighted in his reply that any such draft Bill “should have been sent to the lieutenant governor before placing it before the council of ministers and this was not done”, said the statement issued after a meeting between Jung and Kejriwal Monday.
“The question addressed to the SG was not on the content of the Jan Lokpal Bill, because, as indicated by the chief minister, the Bill had not been sent to the Raj Niwas. However, since the chief minister in his earlier letter dated 31.1.2014 had written to the L-G indicating the intent to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill on the floor of the house and to have the issue discussed and passed in a special session at the Indira Gandhi stadium, the L-G had asked the Solicitor General to opine on the constitutional validity of introducing such a Bill,” the statement said.
Making clear the “extant legal reality” to Kejriwal, Jung said the “GNCTD is governed by the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 and the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993”.
“Therefore, irrespective of whether the Delhi cabinet appreciated this or not, the position would remain the same unless challenged in appropriate forums. Section 22(3) of the continued…