Cong asks LG to block 'unconstitutional' Jan Lokpal Bill

The Delhi Congress on Friday sought Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung’s intervention to prevent the Arvind  Kejriwal government from bringing in the anti-corruption Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly in an unconstitutional manner.

Citing several provisions of the constitution and the Delhi Assembly’s transaction of business rules, the Congress, which is giving outside support to the AAP’s minority government, urged Jung to ensure that the Bill is not introduced in the House without seeking his recommendations.

The Congress also opposed the Kejriwal government’s plan to organise the sitting of the House for passing the Jan Lokpal Bill at a venue other than the Assembly.

The meeting came on a day when AAP leader Ashutosh called Jung a “Congress agent” trying to spoil the image of the ruling government. The Congress slammed the language used by the AAP for the Lieutenant Governor.

Jung assured the Congress delegation that he will follow the constitution, according to Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely, who led the Congress team.

To counter the Kejriwal government’s ‘malafide intentions’ and ‘stubborn attitude’, Lovely requested Jung to take “recourse to section 9 (2) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act and send a message directing the Assembly that no Bill shall be introduced, debated and passed in respect of which the mandatory legal and constitutional provisions have not been complied with”.

Lovely said AAP leader Ashutosh’s remark on Jung reflected the kind of ‘ideology’ of the AAP.

“It is unfortunate that a constitutional head is being run down in such a manner. This has never happened ever,” he said. He said his party was in favour of a strong Jan Lokpal Bill but wanted it to be brought in the House in a constitutional manner.

“If this aspect is ignored, we will oppose the Bill and also stop it from being introduced in the Assembly,” he said.

On organising the session outside the Assembly, he said Kejriwal should first seek the approval of the House before changing the Assembly session.

The Congress memorandum, quoting rules and regulations, said Kejriwal was using the issue of the Jan Lokpal Bill to gain political mileage by misleading the people.
“Kejriwal is not above the country’s law, and no one should be given  the power to break the rule of law,” said Lovely.

The delegation included the Congress Legislature Party leader Haroon Yusuf, MPs Jai Prakash Agarwal, Sandeep Dikshit and Ramesh Kumar and MLAs.

Agarwal slammed the AAP for using ‘unacceptable’ language against Jung. “The language is wrong.”

Key point
Section 9 (2) Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business 2002 says: Where a message from the lieutenant governor for the House under sub-section (2) of section 9 is received by the Speaker, he shall read the message to the House and give necessary directions in regard to the procedure that shall be followed for the consideration of matters referred to in the message. In giving these directions, the Speaker shall be empowered to suspend or vary the rules to such extent as may be necessary.

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