New Delhi | A three-member panel was set up by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to fix responsibilities, including criminal liability, in “omissions and commissions” while clearing 400 files relating to a large number of decisions without his approval.
The appointment of the panel, comprising former CAG V K Shunglu, former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami and ex-Chief Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar, comes over three weeks after the Delhi High Court ruled that the Lt Governor is the administrative head of the city government.
The committee, which has been asked to submit its final report within six weeks of its first meeting, will fix responsibility of individuals, including civil and criminal liability, if there was any.
The panel will examine the role played by the public functionaries and officers of the Delhi government and of any other individual related with these violations and fix responsibility, said the LG’s office.
“On preliminary scrutiny of these files, it is found that over the last one-and-a-half years several decisions taken are in violation of Acts/Rules with attendant legal and financial implications. It has become necessary to examine them in depth and suggest forward action. Therefore, the Committee has been constituted,” it said in a statement.
It said the panel will determine whether the decisions taken in these files and the processes adopted were in violation of the Acts/Rules and the constitutional scheme.
“The panel has been also asked to recommend “appropriate administrative/criminal/civil action as well as action for recovery of financial loss to the government exchequer, if any, by such wrong decisions against the public functionaries/officers/individuals concerned,” LG’s office said.
Replying to LG’s decision, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said there should be an independent scrutiny of the files. “Let an independent three member committee scrutinize all files cleared by Modiji also n lets compare the results,” he tweeted.
Various departments of the city government have submitted the files to Jung following a directive from him in the wake of the high court order. The Lt Governor has been having a long-running battle with the AAP government on a host of jurisdictional issues.
The committee has been tasked to look into “omissions and commissions” in the decision-making process and also to fix responsibility of individuals, including civil and criminal liability, if any, the LG’s office said.
After the high court judgment, the principal secretaries and heads of department of the city government were directed by the LG to review instances where his prior approval was required as per rules, but was not obtained.
In response, around 400 files have been received by the LG’s Secretariat for ex-post facto approval of Jung and some more files are awaited.
The panel will also examine whether such violations were wrong, illegal and “deliberate acts of omissions/commissions”.
The panel will examine the role played by the public functionaries/officers of the Delhi Government and of any other individual related with these violations and fix responsibility, said the LG’s office.
The committee will recommend course of action to be taken on each of the files/proposals including whether the decisions can or cannot be regularised by the Lt Governor, said Jung’s office.