Kejriwal defies union government as Delhi clears lokpal bill
04 February 2014
Delhi's fireball Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seems bent on defying the Constitution of India to fulfil the Aam Admi Party's agenda, which currently seems to defy definition.
On Monday, the Delhi cabinet cleared the Delhi Lokpal Bill 2014, and the state government today said that it would directly table the bill in a special assembly of the Delhi Assembly and bypass the union government's approval.
''We will table the bill in the special assembly session. We will not send it to the Centre,'' AAP leader Manish Sisodia, minister of urban development department, announced.
But the Congress party, which gives outside support to the minority AAP government, called it an illegal act.
''There are certain rules which need to be followed, and as per transaction of business rules it [the bill] needs the approval of the Centre. We will not support anything which is unconstitutional. They need to respect the Constitution,'' Arvinder Singh, chief of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee, said.
The ambit of the draft Jan Lokpal bill for an anti-corruption watchdog as cleared by the Delhi cabinet covers all public servants, from the chief minister to 'Group D' government employees. It also seeks a life term as maximum punishment for those found guilty of corruption. Sisodia said even a peon would be under its ambit.
A union government spokesperson said, ''The government maintains that a bill for the final assent of the president to turn it into a law is required to be sent according to the Constitution once the assembly passes it. This is based on opinions sought from eminent constitutional experts.''