Delhi govt sets up panel to probe 'restoration' of FPS licence

Delhi Assembly today formed a nine-member special inquiry committee to probe alleged irregularities in "restoring" the license of a fair price shop here, including "serious" charges against Lt Governor Najeeb Jung in connection with it.

PTI| Updated: Jun 10, 2016, 02:09 AM IST

New Delhi: Delhi Assembly today formed a nine-member special inquiry committee to probe alleged irregularities in "restoring" the license of a fair price shop here, including "serious" charges against Lt Governor Najeeb Jung in connection with it.

The licence of the shop was cancelled by the Food and Supplies Department of the AAP government last year.

Jung reacted by quoting a couplet of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, and asserted he restored the licence, cancelled last year, as an "appellate authority" after hearing arguments from all sides.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Allegations against LG are v serious. Enquiry committee set up by Delhi Assembly will find the truth. I urge all to cooperate in enquiry."

The committee comprises of nine Aam Aadmi Party MLAs after its sole BJP face Jagdish Pradhan opted out. AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj moved a resolution to this effect amid criesof "political vendetta" by Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta who and Pradhan staged walk out from the House while passing the resolution.

Interestingly, the move against Jung came during a two-day-long special session of the 70-member House that commenced today to discuss the working of the three BJP-controlled Municipal Corporations.

The issue was raised by Burari MLA Sanjeeb Jha who accused the Lt Governor of "misusing" his office to benefit the owner of a fair price shop located in Santnagar of North Delhi's Burari, and demanded Jung's booking under sections of Cheating, Prevention of Corruption act for allegedly favouring the shop's owner.

AAP MLAs Madan Lal, Somnath Bharti and Amanatullah Khan also demanded the FIR against Jung under Sections 420, 409 and 120 B of the IPC. Hitting out at the AAP MLAs for dragging the Lt Governor into an "unwanted controversy", Gupta and Pradhan asked them to approach the High Court and the Supreme Court if they had issues with the decision taken by Jung.

Jha said in April this year, Jung had restored the license of a fair shop owner, who is a widow, despite the fact that the Food & Supplies Department had cancelled it on the basis of alleged irregularities in June last year.

MLAs claimed that the LG had passed his order the under 'Delhi Specified Food Articles (Regulation & Distribution) Order 1981, which was superseded by 'Delhi Specified Food Articles (Regulation & Distribution) 2001 and 2015 under which the LG has "no such power" to revoke the licence.

The terms of reference of the special inquiry committee include looking into the correctness or otherwise of the restoration of the cancelled licence as ordered by Jung and also the procedure adopted by the authorities concerned in cancelling it.

Members of the committee are AAP MLAs Vishesh Ravi, Somnath Bharti, Amanatullah Khan, Rajesh Gupta, Rajendra Pal Gautam, Madan Lal, Nitin Tyagi, Narayan Dutt Sharma and Bhavna Gaur.

The Burari MLA also alleged that the fair shop owner had publicly claimed of getting the licence restored by paying a bribe of "Rs 12 lakh", saying prima facie it was a serious matter of corruption that should be investigated, including the "role" of Jung.