Cabinet advises Jung to dissolve Shunglu Committee
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said a decision in this regard was taken on Friday during a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The Cabinet has termed the three-member Shunglu Committee – which was looking into the files – unconstitutional.
Sisodia told a press conference that there was no provision in the Constitution, or in any statute or rule, which mandated setting up of an “external committee” to inquire into the ongoing projects of public welfare, question officers and “threaten” to recommend administrative and criminal action against them.
He requested Jung to return all files of the government, saying “various important works are being affected” due to this. “The Committee has created a dangerous climate of fear and uncertainty among the bureaucracy, thus threatening to derail the government functioning in its entirety, noted the Cabinet,” he said.
“We have requested the LG to dissolve the committee as the Lieutenant Governor has no power. The jurisdiction of LG is well-defined under Article 239AA of the Constitution of India, the GNCTD Act, 1991, and the rules framed under the Act,” he said.
If the committee continues its “illegal” functioning, not only will it imperil public welfare, it has also the potential to create a serious constitutional crisis in the national Capital, noted the Cabinet, according to the Deputy CM. Sisodia said the “impounding” of over 400 files by the LG was against the transaction of business rules and the GNCTD Act.
“The Cabinet also brought to the notice of the LG that the August 4 Delhi high court judgment, which is being invoked by him to take such actions, has not become final and is presently under challenge before the Supreme Court,” he said.
Notices have already been issued by the Apex Court and the matter would be finally heard on November 25, he said.
“It would have been prudent for the LG to await the final decision of the Apex Court before taking such unilateral actions bypassing the elected government,” said Sisodia.
He claimed that several officers have reported to their respective ministers that they were summoned by the committee informally and grilled for many hours for decisions taken by them in public interest over the last one-and-a-half years.
“Such summoning of officers through oral instructions and then questioning them over the content of the files without duly recording and authenticating the officers’ version is against the well-established norms of transparency and propriety,” he added.