Shunglu panel points out gross abuse of power by AAP government

The three-member Shunglu committee in its report has pointed out gross abuse of power by Delhi government. The committee was formed by the former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung to look into the decisions taken by the Aam Aadmi Party government. Shunglu committee in its report also questioned several appointments, including the appointment of Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s daughter Soumya Jain in Mohalla Clinic project and a number of purported AAP functionaries as advisors.

The committee reviewed 404 files of the Delhi government and found several irregularities with various appointments. The panel in its report has said that the decision to allot land to AAP to build a party office should be considered null and void. It also questioned the allotment of residence to DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal. Among other issues, the report raised questions on the government posting officers to the Anti-Corruption Branch, its decisions on transfer and appointments of officers, foreign travel undertaken by ministers without the LG’s sanction and appointment of lawyers.

The Committee, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General VK Shunglu, was set up in August 2016 after the Delhi High Court gave primacy to the LG in Delhi administrative affairs in August 2016. The committee submitted its report to the Lieutenant-Governor in November 2016.  But the report was not made public by the government or the Lieutenant-Governor’s office. The report which was submitted to the committee in November 2016 was not made public by the government or the Lieutenant-Governor’s office. The Shunglu Committee report was made public on 6 April 2017 by Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken, who earlier obtained a copy of the report through a Right to Information query.

He filed the RTI application on 22 February 2017. The Shunglu panel report suggests that the conflict between the government and LG began in April 2015, when the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal directed officers of all departments to take decisions on all subjects without consulting the Lt Governor that is transferred to the Delhi Assembly under the Article 239AA(3)a of the Constitution of India. Article 239AA(3)a reads, “Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, the Legislative Assembly shall have power to   make laws for the whole or any part of the National Capital Territory with respect to any of  the matters enumerated in the State of List or in the Concurrent List in so far as any such matter is applicable to Union territories except matters with respect to Entries 1,2, and 18 of the State List and Entries 44, 65 and 66 of that List in so far as they relate to the said Entries 1,2,and 18.”

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