LG sends Kejri's bill to Law Ministry

LG sends Kejri's bill to Law Ministry

A day after threatening to quit over his ambitious Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday met Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung over the issue. 

While Kejriwal said the LG is in a dilemma to follow orders of the Home Ministry or following the constitution, the LG has forwarded the bill to the Union Law Ministry seeking its advice on prior consent for the bill. 

“On one hand there is the Constitution of India and on the other hand there is the order of Union Home Ministry. The LG is in a dilemma to follow either of these. He has sought the advice of the central government over the passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill and it is very obvious that the Centre will never allow passing it,” he said. The LG, however, maintained that he is trying to avoid any dispute and to get a “final opinion” the bill has been referred to the Union Law Ministry.

“It is very important to combat corruption and therefore the LG shares the same value as the chief minister to avoid corruption at all levels. The question is the need to follow the procedures and mandated under the Constitution of India,” the LG said in a statement. The LG office has said that the clarification to the letter of Kejriwal, in which he advised LG for following Constitution on the backdrop of the Solicitor General’s suggestions on Jan Lokpal Bill, was sent to the CM on Friday.

Kejriwal said his demand is not illegitimate and said that former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit passed some 13 financial bills without the Centre’s consent.

“When the Sheila Dikshit government can pass multiple money bills without the centre’s consent, then why people are creating hurdles for Jan Lokpal?” he said.

The Lieutenant Governor also highlighted that as per rule 34 of the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993, any such draft bill should have been sent to him before placing it under before the council of ministers and this was not done.

“The extant legal reality is that the GNCTD is governed by the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 and the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993. Therefore irrespective of whether the Delhi Cabinet appreciated this or not, the position would remain the same unless challenged in appropriate forums. Section 22(3) of the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 is clear that the Bill proposed by the Government shall not be passed by the Legislative Assembly unless the LG has recommended the Bill to the Assembly for consideration,” he wrote in the letter to Kejriwal.

Besides, since the central government has already enacted the Lokpal and the Lokayukta Act, 2013, and with many of provisions overlapping with the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill, the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill will have to be placed by the Lieutenant Governor for purposes of consideration and the grant of assent by the President of India to avoid any repugnancy, he added.

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