Delhi govt clarifies on seeking opinion from legal experts

Delhi govt clarifies on seeking opinion from legal experts

Delhi Government today sought to quell the controversy over the issue of legal experts supporting it on the Jan Lokpal Bill, saying they were consulted only on the validity of rules relating to Assembly's powers and not on the legislation per say.

"Nowhere in his letter to (Lt Governor) did the Chief Minister state that the government had sought the opinion on Jan Lokpal bill from the experts.

"The entire reference was to the Transaction of Business Rules (TBR) for the Delhi Assembly, 1993, prepared by the Union Home ministry and sent to the Delhi government with the direction to implement them," said a statement released by the Delhi Government.

The government's clarification came against the backdrop of some news reports which stated that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had sought the opinion of three lawyers and a former judge on the Jan lokpal Bill.

"Delhi government had sought the legal opinion on whether Rule 55 (1) of the TBR which makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to send any bill to the central government before its introduction in the state assembly is constitutional," the statement read.

"It has been wrongly reported that the CM sought the opinion of constitutional experts on the Jan Lokpal Bill," it added.

Citing relevant section of the Kejriwal's letter to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, the press release stated, "Just like you (Jung) had sought the opinion of the Solicitor General, the Delhi government has also sought an opinion from three noted lawyers and a former chief justice. All these four experts are of the opinion that the Union Home Ministry order is unconstitutional."

"Their names are Justice Mukul Mudgal, P V Kapoor, K N Bhatt and Pinaki Mishra. After getting their opinion, the Delhi cabinet in its meeting on February 3 passed a resolution recommending that the Home Ministry should withdraw its order and till such time decided not to accept it," the statement said.

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