Kejriwal to L-G: 'Jan Lokpal Bill not unconstitutional'
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday wrote to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung asserting that the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill is not unconstitutional as noted by the Solicitor General of India Mohan Parasaran.
In his letter he asked the Lieutenant Governor the reason behind seeking the opinion of the Solicitor General on the Bill, and said that it could have been discussed with him.
"Even if you had to seek an opinion you could have discussed the matter with me and I would have shared the copy with you and explained the details. Instead the Solicitor General's opinion was given directly to the media. We handed over copy of Bill (Jan Lokpal) to you last evening. Then on which Bill did you seek LG's opinion?" he questioned.
He further said that the bill was prepared after seeking opinion from every department of the government, and added that presenting the bill in the state legislature is not unconstitutional.
Kejriwal noted that the Constitution allows the Delhi Assembly to legislate on all issues excluding three topics.
He also claimed that the Union Home Ministry's order, instructing that legislation introduced in the Assembly should be first cleared by the Centre, is completely unconstitutional, and asked if every bill requires Centre's consent, then what is the use of holding elections in Delhi.
"It is clear that this order of the Union Home Ministry is unconstitutional. The jurisdiction of the Delhi Assembly has been decided by the constitution. Can the Central government curb that jurisdiction by passing an order?" he asked.
"If we have to seek approval of Central Government on every Bill, what is the use of holding elections in Delhi? This is a direct attack on the people of Delhi and the autonomy of the Delhi Assembly," he added.
He further said that the Home Ministry and the Congress would put pressure on the Lieutenant Governor to disallow the Delhi Jan Lokpal to be introduced in the assembly.
"I know you are under pressure from the Congress and the Ministry of Home Affairs. You will be pressurised to not allow the Delhi Jan Lokpal to be introduced in the assembly. Because they know that if this bill is passed many of them will go to jail. But you have to decide whether you can take the pressure or not," he added.
Earlier in the day, the Solicitor General of India, Mohan Parasaran, said the Jan Lokpal Bill is unconstitutional, and insisted that it should get the approval of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung.
The Delhi Government on February 3 cleared the final draft of the Jan Lokpal Bill, with the Chief Minister's office falling in its ambit.
(Posted on 07-02-2014)