Saturday, April 8, 2017

Shunglu committee report shows Arvind Kejriwal treats his personal discretion as law in Delhi

A voluminous VK Shunglu Committee report is yet another reminder that for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, rule of law means that his personal discretion is law in Delhi. The perks of power, government positions, sanctioned or otherwise and any associated benefits were to be offered to the chosen beneficiaries at whims to relatives of ministers and personal favourites of party lords, in total disregard to laid out structures and norms.
File photo of Arvind Kejriwal. Getty images
He could still brazen it out, he and his party colleagues could still lecture on morality, public probity and integrity, claiming that everyone else in varied social structure and polity except for those associated with their party AAP had some taint to hide.
Unfortunately for him, a well documented Shunglu committee report along with annexure, which came to conclusions after examining 404 files and discussions with key officials including chief secretary and principal secretaries of departments concerned, has exposed Kejriwal's hypocritical probity stance in public life.
More so, this official expose comes at a time when Kejriwal is already facing the heat of another finding and subsequent directive by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal asking Delhi Chief Secretary to initiate process of recovery of Rs 97 crore by Arvind Kejriwal-led ruling Aam Admi Party for a series of advertisements which Kejriwal, as chief minister, issued in violation of Supreme Court directive. As per L-G's directive, Delhi government (Kejriwal) has to recover this huge amount from AAP (Kejriwal) in 30 days' time, of which one week has already elapsed.
The L-G's order was not whimsical. It was based on findings of the Supreme Court-mandated Committee on Content Regulation of Government Advertising (CCRGA), constituted by Information and Broadcasting ministry.
Another revelation is that Kejriwal insisted that Ram Jethmalani must bill for defending him in defamation case filed against him by finance minister Arun Jaitley. And on his instructions, Delhi government cleared the payment file at a super-fast speed without due approval from L-G, which badly tarnished his image.
Shunglu committee findings reveal that Kejriwal government is hit with a malice of the worst kind for any government: Nepotism, favouritism and cronyism. It goes on listing instances after instances where norms were flouted, laid out official channels bypassed, not just the L-G who is administrative head of Delhi government but also the departments like law and finance, which were otherwise required to give approval on files in most cases.
Take for instance appointment of health minister Satyendra Jain's daughter Soumya Jain as as adviser to mission director, Delhi State Mission. Soumya had a degree in architecture and didn't have any supportive documents to her claim for expertise on mohalla clinics. The file also does not have any mention as to who approved her appointment. Despite that, she was appointed to the post. An expenditure of Rs 1.15 lakh was also incurred between the date of her joining and the date she resigned from the post. Shunglu committee noted "these events could only be explained by the fact that Soumya Jain is the daughter of Satyendar Jain, health minister and Chairman of Delhi state health mission and of society registered for executing projects."
Another case of nepotism relates to appointment of Nikunj Agarwal, said to be a relative of Kejriwal, as OSD to the health minister. "Dr Agarwal is appointed as senior resident on an ad hoc basis on his mere application by the resident medical officer of CNBC hospital, when there was no vacancy in that hospital and the established procedure is to invite applications through advertisements and effect selections after interviews by a panel of expert," the committee report said.
with thanks : FirstPost : LINK : for detailed news report.
Must go through in the wake of MCD Elections in Delhi.

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