Kejriwal writes to Lt Governor on Jan Lokpal Bill

Tells Jung to follow Constitution

Kejriwal writes to Lt Governor on Jan Lokpal Bill

The issue of State versus Centre on the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill got murkier on Friday when Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal suggested in a strongly-worded letter to Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung to follow the Constitution and not the Union Home Ministry.

Kejriwal was irked over media reports on Solicitor General (SG) Mohan Parasaran’s advice to the L-G, saying that the Jan Lokpal Bill will be unconstitutional if the state passes it without the President’s consent. He accused the L-G of “leaking” the SG’s letter.

The chief minister also asked Jung for a reason behind seeking the SG’s suggestion even before seeing the Bill.

“We sent you the Bill on Thursday evening. Why were you in such a hurry that you sought the SG’s statement before seeing the Bill? On what Bill has he sent you the suggestions? If you had any queries you should have discussed it with me. I would have shown the Bill to clear your doubts but you passed the SG’s advice directly to the media,” Kejriwal said in the letter.

Former journalist and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh took the issue a step ahead and termed the L-G an “agent of the Congress”.

“The L-G seems to be working like an agent of the Congress. They are trying to malign the AAP’s image,” he said.

But a Delhi government official, who is close to Kejriwal, said the government does not endorse Ashutosh’s statement. “It is just a political statement. The government has nothing to do with it,” the official said.

In his three-page letter, Kejriwal told the L-G that he was not going to “leak” this letter but was officially making it public. He also defended his decision to pass the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly without the consent of the President.

“The Lokpal drafting committee took consent of all government departments. We also amended some laws. How can the Solicitor General term the Bill unconstitutional without knowing the facts?” he asked.

According to reports, the SG said it was unconstitutional to bring any Bill in the Delhi Assembly without the President’s consent, but this is nowhere in the Constitution, Kejriwal added.

Delhi Assembly enjoys the right to pass any law. The Constitution only prevents the Delhi Assembly from passing any Bill contrary to a Centre’s Bill. The Constitution does not say that the Delhi government has to seek permission from anyone to pass such Bills, Kejriwal wrote.

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