'Passing' Delhi Jan Lok Pal bill would be illegal, iterates solicitor-general

The attempts by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party to push through the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill for a corruption watchdog in public assembly, without seeking Constitutional approvals, are likely to provide more fireworks, as the Solicitor-General of India, Mohan Parasaran, has ruled that the sanction of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor is necessary before such a bill can be enacted.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung had sought the solicitor-general's opinion on the issue. Parasaran responded on Wednesday that the Lt Governor's approval is mandatory for passing the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, and it would be illegal if enacted without this consent.

"I am not bothered about politics. We have only given our opinion based on the Constitution it is for the Lt Governor to consider that and act as he thinks fit," Parasaran said in New Delhi on Thursday.

The Delhi government cleared the final draft of the Jan Lokpal Bill on 3 February, with a comprehensive ambit that covers all government functionaries from the chief minister down.

Kejriwal has stuck to his stand that he will ''pass'' the bill in a public session of the state assembly, with or without central approval.

Parasaran told the Lt Governor that Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, passed by Parliament last year, is in force, and a Lokpal Bill in Delhi would be repugnant to the central law. Hence it would require the assent of the President of India.

Meanwhile, the Congress, without whose support the AAP government would fall, has decided that it would oppose the Bill at the introduction stage itself.