New Delhi: The union home ministry does not have the power to declare as void the Delhi government’s probe into an alleged CNG fitness scam, the city government said on Wednesday.
Replying to a letter by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung conveying the home ministry’s view about the probe in the alleged multi-crore-rupee scam, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the Delhi government was neither a “subordinate department” of the home ministry nor “accountable” to it.
“Under the constitution, the Ministry of Home Affairs does not have the powers to declare any order of Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) as void,” Sisodia said in the letter. “It is only the judiciary which has power to declare any order of GNCTD null and void,” he added.
“Ministry of Home Affairs seems to be attempting to encroach the domain of judiciary, which is dangerous. Therefore, the communication from MHA, at best, could be treated as MHA’s opinion,” Sisodia said in a letter.
In the letter, Sisodia said: “I wish to state that the Government of Delhi is not a subordinate department of ministry of home affairs. (It) is a constitutionally-elected government which is accountable to the people of Delhi… It is not accountable to MHA.”
“Commission of inquiry will continue to work and we expect everyone to cooperate in the commission’s proceedings. I would urge you (LG) to kindly inform the MHA that if at all MHA is aggrieved, they may approach the judiciary,” he added.
Sisodia further said the MHA issued the communication at a time when the matter was sub-judice as the setting up of the commission of inquiry was also challenged in a PIL in Delhi High Court.
He said the petitioner demanded that Delhi government’s notification of setting up the commission of inquiry should be stayed.
“The court even refused to issue a formal notice to Delhi government in the matter. Court has only asked the government to file a short affidavit in the matter. The next date of hearing is on September 23,” Sisodia said.
A Central Bureau of Investigation probe had revealed irregularities in awarding the contract of operation and maintenance of inspection and certification of CNG vehicles — thereby causing a loss of Rs.100 crore to the Delhi government.
The Delhi government had on August 11 decided to set up a commission of inquiry into the CNG fitness scam.
The central government had on August 21 said the Delhi government had no power in ordering a probe into the alleged multi-crore-rupee CNG fitness scam and declared its probe panel as “legally invalid”.