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AAP govt cites Chidambaram letter to Dikshit on circle rates

AAP govt cites Chidambaram letter to Dikshit on circle rates
The LG, however, said he would examine the constitutional and legal aspects of the notification. “It has been clearly laid down in the Constitution that except three matters — police, public order and land — all other matters are in the domain of the elected government in Delhi,” a Delhi government statement said.

“Since this matter solely falls within our constitutional domain, there was no need of seeking the LG’s approval,” it said.

The Aam Aadmi Party government also criticised the past practice of elected governments seeking approvals from the LG “on every matter which led to inordinate delays” in decision making.

It also accused Jung of regularly raising objections on matters which do not fall under his purview.
“It is not possible (to seek LG’s approval) due to the well laid down constitutional provisions,” it added.

“The same issue arose during the tenure of the previous Delhi government in 2010. When differences erupted between the then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and LG <g data-gr-id="44">Tejender</g> Khanna, the matter was sent by the former to the Union Home Ministry. The former Home minister P Chidambaram in a letter to Dikshit had clearly mentioned that it is the right of the elected government in Delhi to fix the circle rates,” stated a government’s statement.

“Chidambaram’s letter was based on the opinion of the then top law officer of the Central government, Attorney General, late GE Vahanvati,” said the government’s spokesperson.

“Vahanvati had categorically opined that fixing of circle rates solely falls within the domain of the elected government and the LG is bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers in this matter,” said a government statement.

It is crystal clear that since the decision of fixing circle rates is in the domain of the elected government, therefore, there was no need of seeking the approval of the LG. The statement said the Delhi government sent the file on the notification later to the Lieutenant Governor as per the law.
A statement issued by the Raj Niwas, however, said that it was examining the constitutional and legal aspects of the notification issued by the Delhi government.

“A final decision will be taken keeping in mind the Constitution, law and set conventions,” it said.
On June 25, the Delhi government during the budget session proposed to increase the circle rates of agricultural land between Rs 1 crore and Rs 3.5 crore per acre. The current circle rate is Rs 53 lakh per acre which is much lower than the prevalent market rate.

An increase in circle rates will translate to higher compensation for the farmers on the acquisition of their land. 
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