AAP Government-Jung war over probe panel

New Delhi: Delhi’s Lt Governor Najeeb Jung was on Friday urged by the AAP government to axe a panel he set up to probe some of its decisions, but Jung summarily rejected the appeal.

Calling the Committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General V.K. Shunglu “unconstitutional”, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said there was no provision in the Constitution for such a committee.

The Delhi Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, advised Jung to dissolve the three-member committee set up to review over 400 files of the Aam Aadmi Party government, Sisodia said.

Jung set up the panel to study alleged irregularities of the AAP government following an August 4 Delhi High Court ruling giving primacy to the Lt Governor in Delhi’s administration.

“The Cabinet noted that there is no provision in the Constitution, or in any statute or rule, whatsoever, which empowers setting up of an external committee to enquire into the ongoing projects of public welfare, question officers and threaten to recommend criminal and administrative action against them,” said an official statement.

Jung hit back, saying the Delhi cabinet’s appeal was an attempt to divert attention from grave misdemeanours.

“Some misdemeanours are of the gravity that these matters are already in the process of being referred to the CBI for investigation,” Jung’s office said.

The Lt Governor’s statement added: “It is evidently an attempt to mislead the public and take attention away from grave misdemeanours that are evident in some of the files.

“If everything, as claimed, is as per rules, then why is the elected government afraid of the truth coming out?”

The committee will submit its report in the next six weeks. “The truth must come out and it must be put in public domain.”

Jung added that the Delhi government’s work was not impacted by the probe.

“Current files that involve immediate action are dealt with and sent back. The committee is examining only those files where illegalities have been committed.

“The LG office has not issued any instructions to stop any work,” it added. It said that officers called by the committee so far have only been called for clarifications.

“It is strange that ministers who have misbehaved consistently with officers for past 18 months should now attempt to hide behind the same officers,” the statement from Jung said.

The other members of the panel are former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar.

They were also asked to recommend the course of action to be taken on each of the files including whether the decisions can or cannot be regularised by the Lt Governor.