Najeeb Jung, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor (LG) has escalated the tiff between the Centre and Delhi’s AAP government by setting up a three-member committee to look into all 400 files obtained from various departments. These contain decisions taken by the AAP government without LG’s prior sanction.
The committee consists of three members- former CAG VK Shunglu, former CEC N Gopalswami and former Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar.
The step by Najeeb Jung comes after Delhi High Court’s judgment upholding his constitutional position and ruling that the state government should seek his prior approval before taking important decisions. Hence, post the verdict he had directed the principal secretaries and heads of departments of the government of the national capital to look into cases where the prior approval of the LG had not been obtained before the state government took decisions where under the rules it was bound to seek the his prior approval. He is to now look into the acts of omission and commission by the functionaries of the state government and to fix criminal and civil responsibility. The committee has been tasked with submitting its final report within six weeks.
According to the L-G’s office, “several decisions “, with legal and financial implications, were taken over the past year and a half and they were in violation of the Acts or rules. The panel will also determine if the violations were deliberate and if they were, what are the appropriate administrative, civil and criminal action and also recovery of financial loss to the exchequer from those responsible for these decisions.
The role played by the public functionaries and officers of the Delhi government and other individuals will also be scrutinized and the losses will regularised.
This decision is will escalate the ongoing battle between the Centre and Kejriwal government as the latter had time and again accused the former of “witch hunting” their lawmakers to derail his government and to settle its political scores with the Aam Aadmi Party.