‘Referring issuance of showcause notices to officers of Delhi Assembly to privileges panel’

New Delhi: Objecting to the Directorate of Vigilance issuing showcause notices to officers of the Delhi Assembly, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel on Tuesday said he was referring the matter to the privileges committee of the House.

The Directorate of Vigilance on Monday issued showcause notices to four officials, including the Delhi assembly secretary, over the alleged violation of rules and provisions of reservation in the engagement of 116 fellows in the DARC Fellowship Programme.

Terming it as an attempt “to defame and discredit the Legislative Assembly”, the

Speaker stressed that the officers of the Assembly are protected by the House so that the independence of the legislature is maintained.

“Any attempt to stop them from carrying out their duties towards the House or the Committees is a serious case of contempt of the House. Therefore, I am referring this issue

to the privileges committee for examination and report,”

Goel said.

The Directorate of Vigilance notices issued to the four officials of the Delhi Assembly — secretary, joint secretary and two deputy secretaries — by Special Secretary (Vigilance) YVVJ Rajasekhar gave them seven days to respond.

In a statement, Goel said he is “deeply shocked and dismayed” over the media reports about the notices.

“First of all the very fact that this news was leaked to the media even before the officers concerned could receive it shows that it is another attempt by the LG’s Office, acting through their pliant officers, to defame and discredit the Legislative Assembly and its officers,” he said.

He also said he has written to the Minister of Vigilance to conduct an enquiry as to how this has happened.

Goel stressed that the DARC Fellowship Programme will continue as it is neither a ‘Services’ matter, nor any violation of constitutional provisions for reservations.

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