Millennium Post

Chief secretary moves HC against fresh notice by Delhi Assembly panel

New Delhi: Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash today approached the Delhi High Court challenging a fresh notice issued by a Delhi Assembly committee asking him to appear before it tomorrow.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar listed the matter for hearing tomorrow before a single judge.
The notice was issued by the Assembly's Question and Reference Committee.
The matter was mentioned before the court by advocate Vivek Chib, who said that they have got a stay from the single judge in the chief secretary's main petition in which he has challenged the notice issued by the Assembly's Privileges Committee.
The counsel said that despite giving an undertaking before the court on February 5 that the committee will not proceed in the matter concerning the chief secretary, he has been served with a fresh notice.
The Question and Reference Committee has asked Prakash to appear before it tomorrow at 3 pm.
The Privileges Committee had on March 5 assured the high court that it would not take any coercive action against the chief secretary for skipping meetings called by the panel.
The counsel, appearing for the Delhi Assembly Speaker, the Question and Reference Committee and the Privileges Committee, had also said that the meeting regarding the privilege notice issued to Prakash has been deferred till further orders.
The bureaucrat had challenged the Privileges Committee notice directing him to appear before it for skipping a meeting on February 20, which was scheduled a day after he was allegedly assaulted by two AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal, both of whom are now in jail.
Prakash also did not attend the subsequent meetings on February 21 and 23, following which the notice was issued on March 1.
In his plea, the chief secretary had submitted that he was summoned to appear before the Privileges Committee for inquiry without being provided any copy of the complaint or opportunity to respond to the same .
A bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher had issued notice and sought the response from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the lieutenant governor, the AAP government, the office of the Delhi Assembly Speaker, its Privileges Committee and the Question and Reference Committee in two weeks.
The matter came up before Justice Shakdher after a division bench comprising justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, which heard the matter briefly, said the plea should be dealt with by a single judge bench.
Prakash had sought quashing of the notice issued to him by the committee and said he has a right to free and fair investigation.
The officer had also said he was asked to appear before the committee which has Khan as one of its members.

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