Jan Lokpal Bill not unconstitutional: Arvind Kejriwal to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung

Last Updated: Friday, February 7, 2014 - 21:50

Zee Media Bureau/Biplob Ghosal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday wrote to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung saying central government`s clearance was not needed before tabling the Jan Lokpal bill in the Assembly.

Kejriwal`s letter states that Constitution doesn`t warrant that consent be taken from the Centre before passing the bill. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader also asked about the need of an elected government if Centre`s consent was needed to pass every bill.
The Delhi CM also alleged that the Lt Governor is under pressure from the Congress and Home Ministry. Kejriwal wrote: "I know that you are under pressure from the Congress and the Home Ministry. They will be putting pressure on you to not allow the Assembly session in Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium."

"Now it is for you to decide whether you will be able to stand up to the pressure or not. You are a genuine person. But I humbly want to suggest to you that you had taken an oath to protect the Constitution and not the interest of any party or the Home Ministry," he said in a strongly-worded letter to Jung.

The AAP leader also questioned Jung`s move of not consulting the Delhi government before sending the bill for legal opinion.

"I was surprised when I heard on television last night about SG`s opinion. On which bill you had sought SG`s opinion as we had sent the draft to you only in the evening and on which bill he had given you opinion," he said.

On Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran`s view that it was necessary to get approval from the Centre before tabling the Bill in the assembly, Kejriwal said nowhere in the Constitution is it written that the Centre`s consent was required except on three issues which he did not elaborate.

He also did not accept the view that the Jan Lokpal would be repugnant to the central law -- the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act -- saying if there was any such defect the law enacted by the assembly would anyhow go to the President for approval.

The Chief Minister described as "unconstitutional" a Home Ministry order that says that Delhi government has to take permission from the Centre before enacting any law.

Kejriwal`s reaction comes after Parasaran on Thursday insisted that Lt Governor`s prior approval is necessary before the bill is passed by the Cabinet.

Parasaran, whose opinion was sought by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on the constitutionality of the Delhi Government`s proposal to enact the Bill without seeking Centre`s clearance, is understood to have conveyed to him that it will be illegal if enacted without the consent, a PTI report said.

The SG is also believed to have told the LG that Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, passed last year by Parliament, is in force and a Lokpal Bill in Delhi will be repugnant to the central law. Therefore, it will require the assent of the President.

With PTI inputs

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First Published: Friday, February 7, 2014 - 15:15

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