This Article is From Feb 10, 2014

Lieutenant Governor's clarification to Arvind Kejriwal on Jan Lokpal Bill: Full text

The Delhi Lieutenant's Governor's office has released a press release detailing its response to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's letter on Friday on the anti-graft Jan Lokpal Bill.

Following is the full text of the press release:

In response to the large number of queries that the Raj Niwas has received on the issues of the introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly and the letter dated 7.2.2014 received from the Hon'ble Chief Minister, the Hon'ble Lieutenant Governor had replied to the C.M. on the same day by clarifying the following

a) It is very important to combat corruption and therefore the Lieutenant Governor shares the same values as the Chief Minister to avoid corruption at all levels.  The question is the need to follow procedures as mandated under the Constitution of India.  

b) The question addressed to the SG was not on the content of the Jan Lokpal Bill because as indicated by the Chief Minister the Bill had not been sent to the Raj Niwas.  However, since the Chief Minister in his earlier letter dated 31.1.2014 had written to the LG indicating the intent to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill on the Floor of the House and to have the issue discussed and passed in a Special Session at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, the LG had asked the Solicitor General to opine on the constitutional validity of introducing such a Bill.  The Lt. Governor also 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 the Lieutenant Governor before placing it before the Council of Ministers and this was not done.

c) The Lieutenant Governor further wrote that the extant legal reality is that the GNCTD is governed by the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 and the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993.  Therefore irrespective of whether the Delhi Cabinet appreciated this or not, the position would remain the same unless challenged in appropriate forums.  Section 22(3) of the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 is clear that the Bill proposed by Government shall not be passed by the Legislative Assembly unless the LG has recommended the Bill to the Assembly for consideration.  Besides, since the Central Government has already enacted the Lokpal and the Lokayukta Act, 2013, and with many of the provisions overlapping with the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill of the Delhi Government, the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill will have to be placed by the Lieutenant Governor for purposes of consideration and the grant of assent by the President of India to avoid any repugnancy.   

d) The Lieutenant Governor had further in his letter to the Hon'ble CM highlighted the fact that the Finance Department, the Law Department, and the Administrative Reforms Department of the Delhi Government had highlighted the fact that the prior recommendation of the LG was required since the Bill involved expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the Capital.  The Council of Ministers did not accept these comments.

e) On the issue of holding the final Session of the Assembly Session at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, the Lieutenant Governor had indicated that it is imperative to keep in view the views of the Police with regards to maintenance of security and law and order.  The Delhi Police is clear that it would not be possible to identify and segregate people coming to the venue who may have intention to disturb the Assembly.  The inability to handle large crowds had become evident in the Janta Darbar and it would indeed be more difficult to control crowds within the vicinity of the Assembly.  Therefore, in view of the law and order position and keeping in view the sanctity of the Assembly proceedings he has requested the Hon'ble CM to reconsider this decision.

However, despite the predominant view that there is need to send the proposed Bill for prior consent to the Union Government through the LG, the Hon'ble CM feels that there are opinions to the contrary and he has obtained the legal opinion on the same.  To avoid any dispute in the matter and to obtain full clarity, the Hon'ble Lieutenant Governor has referred the matter to the Ministry of Law and Justice for a final opinion on the constitutional position.