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SC asks Kejriwal and Jung to hold meeting on dengue, chikungunya

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendra Jain to hold a meeting with Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung to chalk out a strategy for checking vector-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya in the national Capital by Wednesday.

"There is no question of playing any blame game. You have the responsibility to look after the people of Delhi. You may be great but you have to do something to maintain that stature. Nothing digging of the past should happen. You have to look at the future," a Bench of justices MB Lokur and L Nageswara Rao said.

It refused to go into allegations and counter-allegations over power tussle between the LG and the Kejriwal government and said "no substitute" should attend the meeting with LG, except whose names have been proposed.

The court also asked Union Health secretary PK Mishra, Chief Secretary K K Sharma, commissioners of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North MCD) and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), CEO of the Delhi Cantonment Board to attend the meeting with LG.

Apart from the officials and office-bearers of the civic bodies, the court also asked Amicus Curiae Colin Gonsalves, chairman of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and General Manager of Northern Railway and vice-chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to attend the meeting and discuss the steps to be taken to check mosquito menace in the city.

The Bench expressed annoyance after senior advocate Chirag Uday Singh, appearing for the Delhi government and Health Minister Satyendra Jain, alleged that officials were not reporting to the minister and not coming to the meetings. "There cannot be two Delhi governments. Officials are not reporting to us. They are not coming to the meeting. We should know with whom we should sit and talk," Singh said.

To this, the Bench said, "Don't beat around the bush. Do we tell you with whom you should sit and talk. Who is the elected government? There cannot be two elected governments. The elected government has responsibility to look after the people." 

The Apex Court further said that whatever has happened are things of the past and the Delhi government has to look at the future and take steps for the betterment of the city.

“You have to tell us how you can work in harmony. It can’t be like you are in a closed set of mind. Both of you sit together and work for the betterment of Delhi. What has happened has already happened. Look at the future,” the court said after the Delhi government counsel told it that they are helpless in the prevailing situation.

During the hearing, the Delhi government counsel further alleged that civic bodies are not under its jurisdiction and they allocate funds to them for sanitation and cleanliness of the area falling in their jurisdiction.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar appearing for Delhi Chief Secretary opposed the contention and said that it’s good to say for them that civic bodies are not under their jurisdiction but they do have jurisdiction over the local bodies as per statute.
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