Friday, June 2, 2023

Jasmine Shah matter referred to President due to difference of opinion between LG and CM of Delhi: Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court was apprised that the matter pertaining to removal of Jasmine Shah from the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDCD) office by the LG has been referred to the President due to the difference of opinion between Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) VK Saxena and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The Court was also told that under Article 239AA of the Constitution, the LG has ordered that Shah will not be allowed into the DDCD office till the President takes a call on the issue.

The Director (Planning) of the Delhi government has filed an affidavit in response to a plea by Shah challenging the LG’s decision restricting him from discharging the functions of vice-chairman of the DDCD.

As per the media reports, after the order by LG, the DDCD’s office where Vice chairman sits was locked and his official vehicle was taken away.

The LG also instructed the CM Arvind Kejriwal for sacking the Vice Chairman Shah for misusing his office for political purposes”.

The LG took this action after a complaint alleging that the vice-chairman of Delhi government think tank, DDCD, has been acting as official spokesperson of AAP for political gains, in violation of established procedures was filed by BJP MP Parvesh Singh Verma.

In the plea, the AAP politician has also challenged the decision of the chamber of the Director (Planning), who ordered locking of Shah’s office and withdrawing all staff and facilities provided to him.

The plea also said that in case of DDCD the sole supervisory jurisdiction and authority over the appointment and discharge of function lies with Delhi cabinet and the Chief Minister and LG does not have any jurisdiction to take cognizance of the complaint or ask for explanation.

The plea also said that the entire basis of the proceedings against the Petitioner having misused his office as Vice Chairperson, DDCD by appearing in television debates on behalf of the Aam Aadmi Party is fallacious and misconceived,” the plea said.

On November 26, the Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the order was wrong and the same stand was taken by the CM Kejriwal as well. The Delhi government then directed the planning department to rescind the orders restraining Shah.

The affidavit before the High Court stated that as per Article 239AA of the Constitution, whenever there is a difference of opinion between the LG and his ministers, the matter will have to be referred to the President.

A letter was written by the LG to the Principal Secretary (Planning) on the same day reiterating that the matter has been referred to the President and no further action could be taken by any other authority.

Though the matter was listed for hearing before the court today, Justice Prathiba M Singh could not take it up and adjourned it to January 9. 

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