Row over office of DDCD vice-chairman: Delhi L-G now refers matters to President, cites ‘difference of opinion’

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A day after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal issued a directive to recall the L-G’s order against Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi vice-chairperson Jasmine Shah, the L-G Secretariat in a statement said as there is a “difference of opinion on this issue”, the L-G has referred this matter to the “President of India and that no action can be taken without the consideration of the President”.

On Friday, Kejriwal had issued directions to the Planning department to recall the L-G’s order against Shah and de-seal his office.

Last month, Delhi L-G V K Saxena had ordered that Shah “be restricted from discharge of functions as V-C” and also be barred from using “any privileges and facilities connected with the office of V-C, DDCD, with immediate effect”. He also asked Kejriwal to sack Shah from the post for allegedly “misusing his office for political purposes”, and directed the planning department to prevent him from using any “privileges and facilities” till a “decision is taken by the CM” in this regard.

Saxena’s decision came following a complaint filed by BJP MP Parvesh Verma the previous month.

The order issued by the L-G secretariat stated: “This is reference to the order issued by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, chairperson DDCD, on December 8 in reference to order issued in reference to a letter issued in reference to the order dated 17.11.2022 by the planning department, GNCTD, regarding misuse of public office for political activities by Jasmine Shah, V-C DDCD. In this regard, the undersigned is directed to invite the attention of the secretary in-charge of the planning department, GNCTD, towards provisions 239AA (4) of the Constitution and following the directions of L-G.”

The order also quotes a note by the L-G, which stated: “I have perused the note dated 20.11.2022 of the Hon’ble minister planning department/deputy CM, GNCTD, relating to order 17.11.2022 of planning department, GNCTD. I do not approve the observation of hon’ble minister Planning department/deputy CM as endorsed by Hon’ble Chief minister. Since there is a difference of opinion on this issue. I have referred this matter to the central government under 239AA of the Constitution read with rule 50 of the Transaction of Business of GNCTD rules 1993 for decision of the President of India.”

It also stated, “In the interim, keeping in view the gravity of the matter concerning use of government resources for political purposes by a public servant. I direct the secretary in-charge of planning department, GNCTD, under provisions 239AA (4) of the Constitution read with rule 50 of the Transaction of Business of GNCTD 1994 that Jasmine Shah be prohibited from using official premises connected with the DDCD, pending the decision of the Hon’ble president of India. Hon’ble Chief Minister may also be informed accordingly.”

The L-G Secretariat further said, “As this matter is pending with the Hon’ble President of India, in accordance with provisions to Article 239AA (4) of the Constitution, any further action in this matter has to taken only in accordance with the decision given thereon by the Hon’ble President of Indian (which) is awaited.”

In his order, Kejriwal had said the L-G has, is not “vested with any jurisdiction or authority in law to take cognisance of the complaint dated 13.09.2022 or for that matter pass any order/direction thereupon”.

I am of the view that the punitive action visited upon Shah is without any justification and requires to be recalled forthwith. It is my cherished hope and desire that the Hon’ble LG will be an active participant in the endeavour to convert Delhi into a world class city and to that end, the implementation of initiatives conceptualised by the DDCD will be facilitated,” it states.

“I, therefore, direct the nodal department i.e. the Department of Planning, GNCTD to immediately recall the order dated 17.11.2022 and all actions emanating therefrom so that the status quo ante as prevailing on 16.11.2022 is restored without any further delay.”



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