In a major setback for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi, the Shunglu Committee formed by former Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to look into decisions taken by the government, has accused the city government of overlooking the rules to favour the close ones by appointing them at key positions.
In its 100-page report, the committee, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) VK Shunglu, after reviewing 404 files of the government, pointed out ‘gross abuse of power’ by the Kejriwal government.
It said that several irregularities were found with various appointments including the selection of Health Minister Satyendar Jain's daughter Soumya Jain in Mohalla Clinic project.
India TV takes a look at major the major decisions that have come under the lens of the committee:
1. The report has questioned Soumya Jain's appointment to the post of mission director in Delhi government's Mohalla Clinic project. Jain is daughter of state Health Minister Satyendar Jain. It noted that Soumya, who is an architect, was made an adviser to Mission Director, Delhi State Health Mission. However she asserted her expertise with regard to Mohalla Clinics even though her CV does not support her claim. Second, the Memorandum of Association of State Health Society (Delhi) and rules and bylaws do not support such appointment," the committee said in its report.
Besides, the file contained no evidence of who approved her appointment.
2. The Committee also raised questions on the appointment of Nikunj Agarwal as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Delhi Health Minister. It said that Agarwal’s appointment on co-terminus basis is a case of violation of recruitment procedure and lack of authority.
Co-terminus appointment can be only made with the approval of the Lt Governor but the matter was not placed before the Lt Governor. The case does not seem fit for ex-post facto approval.
3. It has also questioned the allotment of 206, Rouse Avenue -- a bungalow which belonged to a minister now used as party office -- to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). It said that the decision should be considered ‘null and void’.
4. The report observed that the genesis of the conflict lay in an April 2015 order issued by Kejriwal to all the departments. It directed officers to take decisions without consulting the Lt Governor on all subjects that have been transferred to the Delhi Assembly under Article 239AA(3)a of the Indian Constitution.
5. It also questioned the city government’s decision to allot residence to Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal.
Among other issues, the report raised questions on the government posting officers to the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), its decisions on transfer and appointments of officers, foreign travel undertaken by ministers without the LG's sanction and appointment of lawyers.
Meanwhile, reacting to the findings of the Shunglu Committee report, the ruling AAP said that the BJP and Congress are staring at defeat and so they are resorting to mud-slinging ahead of the MCD polls.
"When the Shunglu Committee was formed to probe the AAP government, why has the BJP not formed any panel to look into
financial irregularities in the MCDs over the last 20 years," AAP's Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey said.