Government is accountable to the people and not to the MHA
GN Bureau | August 26, 2015
In a continued saga of confrontation, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said that ministry of home affairs (MHA) does not have the power to stop the inquiry ordered by the Delhi government on the CNG kit scam. The state government is well within its rights to probe the matter, said Sisodia in response to MHA order.
"Left to them, they will say that there is no government in Delhi and that elections never took place. But there is Constitution in the country, and according to the Constitution other than police, public order and land, all the other subjects are with the Delhi Government. If there is corruption, then the Delhi Government is well within its rights to investigate it," he said.
The Delhi's Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) had reopened the 2002 scam which took place under the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress Government in which three top officials are under the scanner.
In 2012, the ACB had launched a probe after it found that the then Delhi Government had incurred a loss of Rs. 100 crore in awarding the contract of operation and maintenance of inspection and certification of the CNG vehicles.
The ruling AAP has told lt governor Najeeb Jung that Delhi government is accountable to the people and not to the MHA. Sisodia has sent a letter to Jung and says that the commission of inquiry set up by Delhi government will continue with its work and, if the MHA is aggrieved, it may approach the judiciary.
The AAP government's move comes a few days after Jung conveyed the MHA's decision to it that the panel to probe the alleged multi-crore CNG fitness scam had been declared "legally invalid and void ab initio". "I wish to state that the Government of NCT of Delhi is not a subordinate department of Ministry of Home Affairs. (It) is a constitutionally-elected government which is accountable to the people of Delhi and the Delhi Legislative Assembly. "(Delhi government) is not accountable to MHA," Sisodia said in the letter.
The letter stated that the AAP-led government in Delhi was not a subordinate department of the home ministry and alleged that the MHA was trying to encroach upon the domain of the judiciary.
Sisodia further said that the MHA has issued the communication at a time when the matter is sub-judice as the setting up of the CoI was also challenged in a PIL in Delhi High Court. He said the petitioner demanded that the notification setting up the CoI should be stayed and added that the court even refused to issue a formal notice to Delhi government in the matter. "Court has only asked the government to file a short affidavit in the matter. The next date of hearing is on September 23," the Deputy Chief Minister said.
"I would urge you (LG) to kindly inform MHA that if at all MHA is aggrieved, they may like to approach judiciary for the same. The commission will continue to work and we expect every one to cooperate with the Commission's proceedings," he added.