Delhi assembly goes into special session for Kejriwal’s rights

Normal session next month, HC rules in favour of Delhi CM

GN Bureau | May 26, 2015


#arvind kejriwal   #AAP   #assembly session   #aam aadmi party  

Photo: Arun Kumar

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is a man in hurry. Delhi assembly, which is slated to meet next month (June) is sitting on a special two-day session from today (Tuesday). The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government convened the emergency session amid a bitter fight between Kejriwal and lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung.

Only agenda for the 'emergency' Assembly session seems to be deliberations on the Central government's notification giving absolute powers to the LG in appointment of bureaucrats and issues of police and public order.

Officials said the session will deliberate on the gazette notification issued by the Centre as well as issues relating to sharing of power between the elected government and the LG.

"Legal opinions from noted constitutional expert KK Venugopal and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanium were placed before the Cabinet and discussed in the meeting," the Chief Minister's office said.

The Cabinet also decided that depending on the requirement, the session can be extended further.

In the notification issued on Friday, the Centre gave absolute powers to the LG in appointment of bureaucrats while also clarifying that he need not "consult" the chief minister on subjects like police and public order.

The notification had also barred the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the Delhi government from registering any case against officers and political functionaries of the Central government.

However, in a victory for the Kejriwal government the Delhi High Court on Monday ruled that the ACB can act against Delhi Police officials. The High Court also noted that Lieutenant Governor of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi is bound to act upon the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers who are directly elected by the citizens of Delhi and the Centre's "executive fiat" siding with him is "suspect".

The assembly was originally scheduled to meet in June for the passage of budget.

On a day when the Delhi High Court vindicated the Aam Aadmi Party-led Government’s ubiquitous battle against corruption, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal spilled the beans on the specifics of its anti-graft machinery at the Janta ki Cabinet organised here on Monday.

In the background of the government’s recent tussle with the Centre over the issue of appointments of bureaucrats was a controversial Ministry of Ministry of Home Affairs notification limiting the jurisdiction of its anti-graft body, the Anti-Corruption Branch declared in July, 2014.

Meanwhile, the AAP government on Monday listed 11 focus areas of its work on completion of 100 days in office.

The Aam Aadmi Party government, which is in a tussle with the central government over powers related to posting and transfer of senior officials, held a public meeting at Central Park in Connaught Place to mark its 100 days.

Listing the government's achievements, AAP leaders said they had ensured cheap power and water, brought down corruption significantly and ensured that the dwellings of the poor were not razed.

"We are not fighting with the centre, we want to work with them. But the BJP-led central government is imposing dictatorship in Delhi as they cannot digest the absolute majority of the AAP in elections," he claimed.

"We told the prime minister that you have majority in parliament and we have it in the assembly (Delhi). And it is a golden opportunity to give Delhi statehood, but this is dictatorship," Kejriwal said.

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