Maya moves a Bill to kill Ambedkar Sthal law

In a surprise action,the Mayawati government moved a Bill in the state Assembly on Tuesday to repeal a law to govern the management of the Ambedkar Memorial —saying this was being done on the advice of the advocate general.

Written by Virendra Nath Bhatt | Lucknow | Published: February 18, 2009 12:27:49 am

In a surprise action,the Mayawati government moved a Bill in the state Assembly on Tuesday to repeal a law to govern the management of the Ambedkar Memorial —saying this was being done on the advice of the advocate general.

The Assembly had passed the UP Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal Act in 2007,in its very first session,after the Bahujan Samaj Party was voted to power.

The Act governed the setting up of a management board to look after the maintenance,security,development and protection of the Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal — the dream project of Chief Minister Mayawati — popularly known as Ambedkar Udyan. The Sthal is under construction in Gomti Nagar since June 1995.

The National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM) had challenged the Act before the Lucknow Bench of the

Allahabad High Court,arguing that it was unconstitutional as the Legislature has abdicated its powers in favour of the Executive. The matter is still pending before the High Court.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma introduced the Bill to repeal in the Assembly without giving any reason. However,the statement of aim and reason of the draft Bill said the decision was taken on the advice of the advocate general. It further said the Bill had been introduced since the Act has been challenged by NAPM in the High Court.

A fresh Bill with suitable amendments will be introduced in the Assembly later,it added.

S N Shukla,counsel for NAPM,said: “The government’s action vindicates our stand. We were fighting for a public cause. We hope that better sense will prevail and the government will follow the Constitution and draft the fresh Bill accordingly.”

He,however,added: “It could also be an attempt by the state government to make our writ petition in the High Court infructuous. Section 17 of the Act suffers from the vice of excessive delegation of powers to the Executive where the government can arbitrarily omit any provision of the Act in the implementation of the law.”

It’s a case of misuse of powers of the Legislature. It’s against the settled law of separation of powers of the Legislature and the Executive that the Legislature cannot delegate the power to Executive to flout the law legislated by it,Shukla explained.

He said the 2007 Act provided for the constitution of the board of management,headed by the chief minister,and all expenditures on the Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal were to seek the approval of the board.

“But the board was never constituted. Hundreds of crores have been spent on the Parivartan Sthal in last two years without implementing the Act,which the government today admitted is invalid,” Shukla said.

With the government deciding to repeal the Act,the entire expenditure incurred by the official agencies in the construction of the memorial in the last two years has become illegal and unauthorised and should be recovered from the functionaries of the Bahujan Samaj Party,he added.

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