Kejriwal seeks recall of order against Jasmine

| | New Delhi
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Kejriwal seeks recall of order against Jasmine

Saturday, 10 December 2022 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed the Planning Department to recall the order restricting Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDCD) vice-chairman Jasmine Shah from discharging his duties. The latest move of the Chief Minister will further deepen the chasm between the Delhi Government and Raj Niwas. Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) VK Saxena had last month asked Kejriwal to remove Shah from the post over alleged misuse of his office for "political purposes”.

 “… the punitive action visited upon Shah is without any justification and requires to be recalled forthwith. It is my cherished hope and desire that the Hon’ble L-G will be an active participant in the endeavour to convert Delhi into a world-class city and to that end, the implementation of initiatives conceptualised by the DDCD will be facilitated. I, therefore, direct the nodal department i.e. the Department of Planning, GNCTD to immediately recall the November 17 order, and all actions emanating therefrom so that the status quo ante as prevailing on November 16 is restored without any further delay,” Kejriwal said in the directive.

 In the order, Kejriwal said that he had examined the aforesaid November 17 order, the complaint on September 13, as also the material referred to therein.

 “Before dealing with the said complaint and order, it is necessary to place on record the fact that the Hon’ble L-G, is not vested with any jurisdiction or authority in law to take cognisance or for that matter, pass any order/direction thereupon. 

I take this view for the reason that the notification dated 29.04.2016 constituting the DDCD and more specifically clauses 8(b) and 8(c) make it abundantly clear that while the Vice Chairperson, DDCD is appointed by a decision of the Cabinet, the incumbent V-C can be removed only with the approval of the Chairperson, DDCD.

Furthermore, the DDCD has been constituted by the GNCTD in exercise of power vested in it under Entry 20 List III of the VII Schedule to the Constitution of India which deals with ‘economic and social planning’,” the order said.

It further said, “However, in due deference to the high constitutional office of the L-G, I have proceeded to examine the complaint as also the order of 17.11.2022 in order to satisfy myself as to whether the V-C, DDCD has committed any infraction which would entail the action suggested by the Hon’ble L-G.

Having undertaken this exercise meticulously, especially keeping in view the allegations levelled by the complainant, I am of the considered view that the V-C, DDCD has not committed any infraction which would entail either his removal from office or other punitive action emanating from the order of November 17, 2022”.

Last month, Saxena had ordered that Shah “be restricted from discharge of functions as V-C” and also be barred from using “any privileges and facilities connected with the office of V-C, DDCD, with immediate effect”. He also directed the Delhi Government’s Planning Department to prevent Shah from using any “privilege and facilities” till a “decision is taken by the CM” in this regard.

The action came after BJP MP Parvesh Verma complained that Shah was "working as a spokesperson of the AAP" even as he held the post of V-C of the DDCD.

Earlier, Justice Prathiba M Singh of the Delhi High Court had directed the parties to file an affidavit on a petition filed by Shah challenging the L-G’s order restricting him from discharging his duties and sealing his office. Meanwhile, the court has refused to grant any interim in favour of Shah. The court will hear the plea on December 13.

According to official sources, Shah was given two opportunities to reply to the show-cause notice issued by the Director of the Planning Department on October 17 over allegations against him but he failed to submit a reply.

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