Kejriwal defiant on passing Jan Lokpal Bill

Kejriwal defiant on passing Jan Lokpal Bill

Setting the stage for another controversy, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced that he will not seek prior permission from the Lieutenant Governor or the Centre before passing the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill. 

The Delhi Cabinet has given its nod to a draft of the bill. It will now be tabled in a special session of the Delhi Assembly on February 13. Voting for the bill will be held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor stadium on February 16. 

“This is a historic day. We have passed the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2014. From the chief minister to a peon, everyone will be under the Lokpal,” Education Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters here after a Cabinet meeting.

A senior Delhi government officer explained that the government can pass the bill in the Assembly without taking any prior permission from the Lieutenant Governor or the Centre.

“The Lieutenant Governor is bound to the aide and advice of the council of ministers. There are precedents where the bill was not sent to the Lieutenant Governor. Transaction of Business Rule, 2002, clearly indicates that the Lieutenant Governor or the Centre cannot prevent the state government from its rights,” he said.

However, former bureaucrats said Kejriwal was trying to amend rules of the Central government.

“Delhi is not a state and the Lieutenant Governor does not have the same power which the governors of other states enjoy. The Lieutenant Governor can only do what the President of India has asked him to do. If they bypass Lieutenant Governor, they are trying to rewrite the rules,” said Omesh Saigal, former chief secretary of Delhi.

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