LG-Assembly Speaker tussle could resurface during Monsoon session

NEW DELHI: The tussle between Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel and Lieuetnant Governor Anil Baijal will not be over any time soon, as it seemingly will pour into the upcoming Monsoon session of the Assembly as well.

The friction between the two started during the last budget session over the refusal of Delhi government officials to answer questions in the Assembly.

The officers claimed that they were not answerable to the Assembly as, according to the LG Office, the Services Department and its officials fall outside the purview of the Assembly and as a result the Delhi government has no executive powers in relation to Services.

In a letter to Delhi Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal, L-G Anil Baijal pointed out to the 2015 Mnistry of Home Affairs (MHA) notification issuing " Presidential direction" under Article 239 and 239 AA of the Constitution.

It is pertinent to mention that the Delhi Secretariat had, on March 19, received copies of the letter sent by the Joint Secretary of the Union Law Ministry to the LG regarding admissibility of the questions on the so-called reserved subjects in the Delhi administration.

The Law Ministry advised the LG to communicate to the Speaker that he should not admit questions related to reserved subjects, such as public order, police, services and land, with the departments concerned refusing to answer questions on this ground.

At that time, Baijal had stated that the Speaker cannot accept any question on reserved subjects. However, Speaker Goel expressed his anguish at the failure of government officials to provide written answers to questions raised in the house as an "undeclared emergency" and blamed the LG for the situation.

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