New Delhi: Hours after the Delhi government advised Najeeb Jung to dissolve the Shunglu Committee, which is examining 400 files on decisions taken by the AAP regime, the L-G turned down the request and gave the panel a six-week extension.
While rejecting the AAP's request to dissolve the three-member committee, the L-G said the "truth hidden behind these files" must come out. "Lieutenant Governor has extended the tenure of the three-member committee till 2 December. Earlier, the committee was asked by L-G to sumbit its report within six weeks," an official said.
Jung had formed the committee chaired by Shunglu On 30 August and ex-chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and ex-chief vigilance commissioner Pradeep Kumar are also its members. In a three-page press statement, Jung wondered why the AAP government is "afraid" of the truth coming out if everything, as claimed by AAP ministers, is as per rules.
Earlier in the day on Friday, the Delhi Cabinet passed a resolution advising Jung to dissolve the committee headed by former CAG VK Shunglu arguing that "impounding" of 400 files is "creating hurdles" in the works of government. The L-G office said the Cabinet resolution is evidently an attempt to "mislead" the public and take attention away from "grave misdemeanours" evident in some of the files.
Jung said the files that have been sent to his office have not been "summoned or impounded" by his office but have been sent by the ministers themselves. "These are those files where the elected Government has itself admitted that it has not followed Constitutional provisions and transgressed established rules/laws/conventions. The Ministers have admitted that these matters need to be now regularised," the L-G office said.
The committee is examining the files to establish the extent of malfeasance, if any, that may have been committed, the L-G office also said. "Some misdemeanours are of the gravity that already these matters are in the process of being referred to the CBI for investigation," it stated.
Refuting allegations that committee has "threatened" bureaucrats, the L-G office said officers the committee has called so far, have been called only for clarifications. "It is strange that ministers who have misbehaved consistently with officers for past 18 months should now attempt to hide behind the same officers," he said.
The committee is examining "irregularities" and "infirmities" in the files of the Delhi government.
Jung office said it was "unfortunate" the name of the Supreme Court is being dragged into a press release of the government.
"The Government is in appeal before the Supreme Court on the High Court judgment of 4 August 2016. This has nothing to do with the functioning of the committee," it said.
It termed as "completely false" the accusation that the government work is adversely impacted and said "current files that involve immediate action are dealt with and sent back". "The committee is examining only those files where illegalities have been committed and have thus been accepted by the ministers themselves by virtue of the fact that they themselves have submitted these files. The LG office has not issued any instructions to stop any work," the statement added.
Earlier Sisodia told a press conference the committee has created a dangerous climate of fear and uncertainty among the bureaucracy, thus threatening to derail the government functioning in its entirety.
"We have requested the L-G to dissolve the committee as the Lt Governor has no power. The jurisdiction of L-G is well defined under Article 239AA of Constitution of India, the GNCTD Act, 1991, and the rules framed under the Act," he had said.
If the committee continues its "illegal" functioning, not only will it imperil public welfare, it has also the potential to create a serious constitutional crisis in the national capital, noted the Cabinet, according to the Deputy CM.