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Kejriwal also refused to budge from his decision to convene a special assembly session at a Indira Gandhi stadium. Photo: Hindustan Times
Kejriwal also refused to budge from his decision to convene a special assembly session at a Indira Gandhi stadium. Photo: Hindustan Times

Jan Lokpal Bill: Jung seeks Centre’s view; Kejriwal remains defiant

The Delhi CM renewed his threat to quit and said he will not bow to the home ministry's unconstitutional order

New Delhi: Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung on Monday sought Centre’s view on the constitutional position whether the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) government can introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill without prior clearance.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, renewed his threat to quit and remained defiant on the issue. He said he will not bow to the home ministry’s “unconstitutional" order.

Kejriwal, who is keen on pushing the bill through the Assembly without going to the Centre first, met Jung and discussed the issue.

After the meeting, Raj Niwas issued a statement in which it said that to avoid any dispute in the matter and to obtain full clarity, the Jan Lokpal issue has been referred to the law ministry for a “final opinion".

The statement contradicted the contention of the chief minister who had in his letter to LG insisted that there was no need for prior central clearance. It said Jung has written a reply to Kejriwal’s letter to him on Friday in which it was highlighted that as per Rule 34 of the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules 1993, any such draft bill should have been sent to him ahead of placing it before the council of ministers which was not done.

A defiant Kejriwal said he has not taken oath to uphold home minister’s “unconstitutional order" and will not send the bill to Centre.

“We will protect the Constitution. Our souls do not allow us to follow unconstitutional order," he said, adding he was ready to make any “sacrifice" for fighting for the autonomy of Delhi assembly and people.

Jung had further written that the legal reality is that the Delhi government is bound by the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 and the TBR Rules.

“Therefore, irrespective of whether Delhi Cabinet appreciates this or not, the position would remain the same unless challenged in an appropriate forum," LG’s office said.

The chief minister said he was ready to make any “sacrifice" for fighting for autonomy of Delhi assembly and people. “My government has taken oath to uphold constitution and make Delhi corruption free. We are ready to make any sacrifice for this," he said.

Kejriwal also refused to budge from his decision to convene a special assembly session at a stadium. He rejected Jung’s call to revisit the decision and said paramilitary forces should be deployed at the venue if Delhi police feels “incompetent" to provide security.

The chief minister said it is the prime duty of the Delhi police to ensure safety and questioned whether police commissioner B.S. Bassi should continue in his post if he cannot provide security.

“It is the prime duty of the Delhi police to ensure the safety of the people and if the police commissioner considers himself incompetent in doing so, should he continue to be in his post?" said a press statement released by the chief minister’s office.

Jung, in a letter to Kejriwal, has requested him not to hold the special session at Indira Gandhi stadium keeping in view the Delhi police concern on maintaining law and order at the open venue.

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