Removal of Kejriwal govt-appointed members from discom boards by LG illegal: Sisodia

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New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday termed the removal of the AAP government-appointed members from discom boards by Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena “unconstitutional and illegal”.

The lieutenant governor has started a new trend of reversing decisions taken by the elected government of Delhi, Sisodia said at a press conference here.

The deputy chief minister also rubbished the charges that the members appointed by the Arvind Kejriwal government provided benefits to the tune of Rs 8,000 crore to the private discoms.

The LG can get the alleged “scam” investigated by any central agency, he added.

“A new trend has been started by the LG as he reversed the Delhi Cabinet’s four-year-old decision and removed the members appointed to the boards of the discoms. This way, he could now overturn the government’s decisions taken even four-ten years back,” Sisodia said.

The deputy chief minister, who also holds the charge of the power department, said Saxena’s decision was “unconstitutional, illegal and contrary to the established procedures”.

Sisodia also objected to the LG’s decision to remove the members citing “difference of opinion”.

“The ‘difference of opinion’ provision cannot be used like this. There is a procedure to do so and it cannot be cited to frequently reverse the decisions taken by the government,” he said.

Sisodia also alleged that the LG was not following the Constitution and the Supreme Court order which states that his power of taking independent decision was limited to three subjects — police, land and public order.

Following directions of the LG, the Power department through an order on Friday replaced the AAP government’s nominees to the boards of power discoms in the national capital with senior officials.

Those removed from the boards were Jasmine Shah, a spokesperson of the AAP, Naveen Gupta, the son of AAP MP N D Gupta, and other private persons appointed as government nominees “illegally”, LG office sources said.

The finance secretary, power secretary and the MD of Delhi Transco will now represent the city government on the boards of BYPL, BRPL and TPDDL, according to the Power department order.

Sisodia said the “difference of opinion” power given to the LG is meant to be used in the rarest of rare cases. This power can be used in matters related to national security or any such relevant matters, he said.

“LG cannot use this power on a daily basis for every other matter and overturn the decisions of the elected government,” he said.

The transaction of business rules for stating “difference of opinion” has been well defined for this, but the LG is not ready to follow any of those, he charged.

“This ‘difference of opinion’ being mentioned by the LG on every file is unlawful,” he claimed.

Defining the procedure for application of “difference of opinion”, Sisodia said, “It is written in the laws that if LG has a different opinion on any matter decided by the concerned minister, then he must call the minister and discuss the matter and ask him to discuss the same within the Cabinet.”

Then if the Cabinet is also not ready to change its decision, the LG can write to the Centre that there is a “difference of opinion” between the government and him, Sisodia said.

He does not have the power to mention a “difference of opinion” in any case before following the consultation process, Sisodia said.

“LG has no right to overturn the decisions of the CM and the cabinet of the elected government. He can use the ‘difference of opinion’ power only in special circumstances, but keeping all rules and regulations aside, LG is using it to overturn every decision of the government,” sisodia charged.

The LG should understand that he is a citizen of India and has been appointed as per the Constitution so he will have to obey it as well as the orders of the Supreme Court, he said.

The LG only has powers over the matters of police, land and public order. He has no right to take any other decisions except on these three matters. He can only give opinions on the matters decided by the chief minister or the government, he said.

The power of making decisions lies only with the chief minister, ministers and the government, he asserted.

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( With inputs from )

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