By Akhil Kumar:
The News: Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi Government plans to enact the Jan Lokpal bill at a public venue next week.Â It plans to introduce the bill in the Delhi assembly on 13 February and discuss it for two days before shifting the proceedings to a sports stadium for passage of the bill.
The Opinion:Â The Congress, which has supported AAP in forming government, says it will oppose the bill in the introduction stage itself.Â Holding the government’s plan to be unconstitutional, the Delhi Congress leaders decided to meet the Lt Governor and urge him to prevail upon the government not to go ahead with its plans. The Solicitor General also says that the bill is unconstitutional.Â He told the Lieutenant Governor 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.
Meanwhile, former journalist and senior AAP member Ashutosh has called Najeeb Jung (LG of Delhi) a ‘Congress Agent’. He calls it a conspiracy to dethrone the AAP government in Delhi, questioning how was the information on Jan Lokapal was leaked from his office.Â “How come a number of conversations held within the premises of the LG office were leaked?” he enquires.Â Kejriwal is expected to meet the Lieutenant Governor with the claim that other legal experts say the Solicitor General’s view is incorrect.
In an interview to the Hindustan Times, Delhi Speaker Maninder Singh Dhir said there was no constitutional violation by introducing the bill in the Delhi assembly as it was a financial bill and therefore did not need approval from the Centre. “The rules say that a ‘Money Bill’ – the budget or any bill related to taxes – cannot be tabled on the floor of the house without prior permission of the President or the Governor or the Lieutenant Governor, as the case may be. But a financial bill does not need prior approval from the head of the state before tabling it. The Jan Lokpal Bill is a financial bill and does not need the L-G’s prior approval. But before it is passed by the house, the L-G must approve it.”
Is the Congress repenting it’s decision of supporting AAP? Is the Aam Aadmi Party’s decision fair given the allegations that it is not constitutionally valid? Is the Congress trying to protect it’s ministers who have been marred in corruption?
What do you think?