Centre shoots down Kejriwal's panel on DDCA graft case

Centre shoots down Kejriwal's panel on DDCA graft case

Cong wants JPC or CBI investigation

Centre shoots down Kejriwal's panel on DDCA graft case

Setting the stage for a fresh clash, the BJP-led central government on Friday struck down the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Arvind Kejriwal government into the alleged corruption surrounding the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association.

A defiant Kejriwal refused to accept the message on quashing of the panel conveyed in a letter sent by the Raj Niwas. He claimed the commission would continue to function and dared the Centre to challenge its validity in court.

The death blow to the commission, headed by former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium, was delivered through a letter written by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung’s office to Chief Secretary K K Sharma.

The letter said the Union Home Ministry has declared the December 22 notification on constitution of the CoI as unconstitutional and illegal.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has accordingly held that the notification...issued by the Directorate of Vigilance, Government of NCT of Delhi, is unconstitutional, illegal and therefore has no legal effect," said a letter issued by S C L Das, secretary to  the L-G. “The council of ministers (Delhi government) may please be apprised accordingly, and all concerned be advised to act in conformity with the above decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India,” said the letter.

An angry Kejriwal made clear his intention to take on the Centre on the DDCA issue and tweeted: “DDCA enquiry commission set up by Del Govt is as per law n constitution of India. Centre’s opinion not binding on Del govt” “Commission will continue work. If LG or MHA or PMO aggrieved, they may approach Court. Only a court order can stop commission's work,” he said.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said after the quashing of the CoI, Kejriwal should support the Congress demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe or a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry.

He justified the central government’s decision to disallow the CoI and said it was not under the purview of the Delhi Government to constitute such a probe panel without the approval of the LG or the Home Ministry.

Maken said the Kejriwal government constituted the inquiry commission to probe the irregularities in the  DDCA just to lock horns with the central government.

He said if a JPC probe is held in the DDCA’s financial irregularities when BJP leader Arun Jaitley was its president, then BJP MP Kirti Azad should also be included in the JPC probe committee.

The Centre’s decision to dump the Delhi government's decision to probe the affairs of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) follows a controversial CBI raid on Delhi Secretariat last month.

While the CBI claimed the raid was to probe alleged corruption by a bureaucrat and Kejriwal aide Rajendra Kumar, the Chief Minister claimed the searches were meant to scan files allegedly containing details of alleged corruption in DDCA when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was its head for over a decade till 2013.