New Delhi: Intensifying the war of words with the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung today wrote a scathing letter to the CM criticising the language he had used in his letter yesterday.
Commenting on Kejriwal's reference to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jung said, “I must say that the tone of your letter leaves me deeply disappointed. Such inappropriate references vis-a-vis the Prime Minister do not reflect well on the Chief Minister of a Union Territory.”
Invoking the national honour and pride, Jung said, “Your letter, being in public domain, leads to unsavoury and avoidable comments not just within the country, but also overseas. I speak with a concern about national honour and pride.”
Jung touched several issues in his letter including the appointment of Swati Maliwal as the chairman of Delhi Commission of Woman (DCW) and other appointments. LG and Arvind Kejriwal government has been in a bitter turf war over the appointment of senior bureaucrats including Anti-Corruption Bureau chief MK Meena.
LG's response came in the wake Kejriwal's letter that he wrote yesterday. Kejriwal questioned LG's statement in which he said “I am the Government,” and said this kind of attitude could lead to dictatorship in Delhi.
To this, LG said in his letter, “My office quoted the legally established definition of “Government”, as stated in the statute book including the clarification issued by the Government of India, in 2002 which reads “‘Government' means the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi appointed by the President under Article 239 read with Article 239AA of the Constitution”.
Read the full letter by Najeeb Jung to Kejriwal here:
My Dear Chief Minister,
This refers to your letter dated 23 July 2015 on the subject of the reconstitution of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW).
At the outset, I must say that the tone of your letter leaves me deeply disappointed. Such inappropriate references vis-a-vis the Prime Minister do not reflect well on the Chief Minister of a Union Territory. Your letter, being in public domain, leads to unsavoury and avoidable comments not just within the country, but also overseas. I speak with a concern about national honour and pride.
Now let me proceed to put the facts before you:
You have misunderstood the information conveyed through my office letter dated 21.07.2015, wherein the formal definition of Government has been enunciated. My office quoted the legally established definition of “Government”, as stated in the statute book including the clarification issued by the Government of India, in 2002 which reads “‘Government' means the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi appointed by the President under Article 239 read with Article 239AA of the Constitution”.
By way of clarification, this implies that the Lieutenant Governor is the delegate of the President and the President /the Central Government acts through the Lieutenant Governor in Delhi. By no stretch of imagination does this mean that the Government can function outside the domain defined in the Constitution, a document drafted by the best minds of our country. It simply means that Delhi, being not a State, is a Union Territory, and the Lieutenant Governor is a representative of the President of India, and indeed the Government of India.
It has never been the intent of this office to negate the position of the Hon'ble Chief Minister or the authority of the elected Government and I have always agreed on your proposals on non-reserved subjects where the Lieutenant Governor is to act on the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers, subject to the provisions of the Constitution and established practices. It is a continuation of this practice that such notifications have in the past always been referred by former Chief Ministers to the office of the Lieutenant Governor and that is why all notifications in the GNCTD are issued “by order and in the name of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi”. To state further, I do not recall any matter of policy or decision taken by you where I have not agreed to your proposal.
Unfortunately, I find that time and again you have been issuing notifications that have not been put up to me for approval. These have pertained to conferment of statutory powers on officers, appointing officers on deputation, nominating Directors in Discoms and so on. Decisions such as these, that have been taken at your level and not put up to the office of the Lieutenant Governor, are contrary to law and established practice and could expose the Government to legal challenge. All these files may please be sent to me urgently to accord ex post facto approval to avoid legal complications and to safeguard Government's interest.
It is completely untrue that the office of the Chairperson of the DCW has been locked or files taken away. The legal position was conveyed in writing to her, through the Member-Secretary of the DCW, in the best interest of the organization and the Government. The DCW is a quasi-judicial body and any infirmity in appointment of the Chairperson and Members could nullify actions taken by them and leave us all in an embarrassing situation. The instructions issued to the office of the DCW are endorsed in the same letter of my office that was sent to your office. Nonetheless I fully agree with you on the critical importance of the office of the DCW, and the need to fill the Chairperson/Members posts urgently.
Along with your letter I have received the file pertaining to the appointment of Ms. Swati Maliwal. I am sure you have done due diligence in selecting Ms. Maliwal and the other Members, and I would have no hesitation in confirming the appointment based on your recommendation. However, I find that the file has not been processed properly and it still contains notifications under which Chairperson/Members of Delhi Commission for Women were appointed under your orders after the note of the Hon'ble Minister of Social Welfare & Women and Child Development wherein he mentions that he is the appropriate authority to take the decision as “Government”. This needs to be rectified since it would not hold good in law and a fresh, revised notification needs to be prepared and submitted to this office at the earliest to enable me to confirm the appointments of Chairperson/Members of Delhi Commission for Women.
I also draw your attention to the notings of the same file submitted by erstwhile Chief Ministers to earlier Lieutenant Governors on the constitution of the DCW wherein every proposal for appointment/resignation/ reappointment/removal has been submitted by the Chief Minister to the Lieutenant Governor, including your own Government's proposal in January 2014. I wonder what prompted you to alter the established long-standing practice that is in accordance with law.
On a different note, I draw your attention on the “Services” matter on which you have frequently said in different forums, including media, that your Government cannot even transfer/post a peon. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The correct position is that I have always honoured your proposals on transfers/postings of IAS/DANICS officers. On the proposals of subordinate officers I have categorically always mentioned that these proposals may be dealt at the Secretariat level, as per established practices. It has been my consistent endeavour to agree to all your requests in the spirit of democratic functioning and giving full respect to your wishes as Chief Minister.
I once again reiterate my oft-stated remark that my intent is to give you full cooperation to ensure the success of our Government and to enable you to fulfil the promises the Government has made to the people of Delhi. I remain committed to this end.
Here I wish to state that at a later point of time, you and I should not look back at this moment when you have won such a massive mandate, and see it as a wasted opportunity in any way.
Let me conclude:
“Ye jabr bhi dekha hai taarikh ki nazron ne
Lamhon ne khata ki thi sadiyon ne saza pai.”
Your letter to me found itself in public domain. I am, therefore, releasing a copy of this letter in public also.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal,
Chief Minister, Delhi,
New Delhi – 110 002