Fate of new panel hangs in balance

Fate of new panel hangs in balance

Despite the Delhi Assembly passing a resolution to form a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ to look into cases of police laxity in crimes against women, the fate of the proposed panel hangs in balance as its constitution still requires the Centre’s nod, according to political analysts.

Even the Delhi government officials and Assembly functionaries agree that the notification of the resolution will be sent to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for his approval.
S K Sharma, former secretary of Delhi Assembly, said: “The resolution has no legislative value.”

“A resolution is an expression of the collective will of the Assembly. If the subject matter of such a resolution pertains to a particular government then it is binding on the agencies to abide by it. And if it relates to the other governments (Centre) then it becomes recommendatory in nature (which is the case with this resolution on constituting the commission),” he said.

Experts were of the opinion that the LG will most likely forward the resolution to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.  “The ministry can either sit on it or tell the Delhi government that formation of such a body does not come under its domain,” said a former parliamentary secretary with Delhi government, requesting anonymity.

“Even if the Centre gives its approval, this commission will merely remain on paper as it will only be advisory in nature,” said a former parliamentary secretary with Delhi government
“The role of this proposed commission will be to advise Delhi Police to look into the cases related to women security. The suggestions with regard to police may become problematic because Delhi Police is not under the city government. How much police will listen to this commission, remains to be seen,” he added.

Some political analysts said that elected governments in the Union Territory keep passing resolutions every now and then without worrying whether they have the power to legislate on the subject.  “Earlier governments had also passed dozens of resolutions demanding full statehood for Delhi but none of them saw the light of day,” said Sharma. Delhi government officials, however, said that the inquiry commission is being formed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.

Prescribed procedures  

“The formation of this commission is not a fight for one upmanship between the city government and the LG or Centre. The Delhi government is going by the prescribed procedures in constituting the inquiry commission so there shouldn’t be a problem,” said an official.

Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta of the BJP said even the home department officials had advised the Arvind Kejriwal government that such a resolution for forming the commission cannot be passed in the Assembly.

“The officials who gave this correct advice was issued a memo by the government,” said Gupta. The Leader of Opposition  also alleged that the AAP government is trying to pass a resolution as a  gimmick as it will yield nothing.

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