Jasmine Shah case: Delhi HC directs parties to file affidavit

28 November, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

Delhi High Court Top News

On Monday, the Delhi HC ordered the parties to file an affidavit in response to Jasmine Shah's petition.

On Monday, the Delhi High Court ordered the parties to file an affidavit in response to Jasmine Shah’s petition. Shah has disputed Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena’s recommendations to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to remove him as Vice Chairperson of the Dialogue and Development Commission and restrict his ability to discharge responsibilities.

Meanwhile, the court has declined to issue Jasmine Shah an injunction. Justice Prathiba M. Singh directed that the parties file their affidavits in the case. The plea has been scheduled for hearing on December 13 by the court.

The court stated that the matter cannot be determined until a counter-affidavit is filed.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) stated that the Aam Aadmi Party administration in Delhi has rejected to grant LG Vinai Kumar Saxena’s plea to remove Vice Chairperson Jasmine Shah from her position. The orders against him have been rescinded by the planning department.

However, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain stated in instructions that Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia delivered a file to the Lieutenant Governor. Please keep the matter till tomorrow or the next day.

Jain further informed the court that the LG’s ruling against Shah had not yet become official.

During the hearing the senior counsel Rajiv Nayar argued that the LG has asked the CM to take a decision but meanwhile in the night Shah’s office was sealed.

The court asked, “What is the function of the commission?” The counsel for the respondent submitted that nothing but it is a think tank of the Aam Admi Party.

On the other hand, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that the commission’s function is to take broad policy decisions.

The court said, “But allegations are that you were campaigning…”
Parties to file the affidavits without the case can’t be decided, the court said.

The Delhi High court on November 22, adjourned the hearing on the plea of Jasmine Shah challenging the recommendation of Vinay Kumar Saxena, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

The LG has recommended the Chief Minister to remove the petitioner from the post of Vice Chairperson of the Delhi Dialogue commission. The petitioner has termed the action unfounded.

Justice Yashwant Varma had said, ” We are only concerned with jurisdiction assumed by LG Delhi. The scope of power has to be seen.”

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar and Dayan Krishnan appeared on behalf of Jasmine Shah.

Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar submitted that the action is completely unfounded. The LG has no power. The office has been sealed.

J Varma said, “Office is not his personal space.”
Rajiv Nayar further submitted that the appointment is by the decision of the government. The LG recognises the fact by asking Chief Minister to take action.

The bench said that the order is only a recommendation.
Senior advocate Nayar argued that the action is completely unfounded. The LG has no power. There are three impugned orders.

The court had asked, “Has the Chief Minister acted on the recommendation?

No. It is a common order. In the interim, the office has been sealed, Nayar argued.

Senior advocate submitted that one section and one rule have been used to exercise the power. They only talk about the duties of the Chief Minister in respect of furnishing of information to LG.
The bench asked, “Is it a political office? No qualifications prescribed. What is the nature of the commission? Is it funded by the Government of Delhi?

Senior advocate Nayar said, “I have listed my achievements in the petition.”

Justice Yashwant Varma had remarked, ” You may be very accomplished but what has been noted by LG also gets us thinking that people who hold honorary positions can continue with other activities.

Nayar argued that the Chief Minister is the chairman of the Delhi Dialogue commission. The post of chairperson is coterminous with the government.

On the other hand, the counsel for the respondent said that
Jasmine Shah has been paid an allowance and other benefits.

The counsel also submitted that the office has been used for political activities.

Justice Varma asked the Senior Counsel Dayan Krishnan, ” That is what is striking us is that once you take the position, whether the other activity should be permitted to continue.

The LG has accused Shah of misusing public office for “personal political activities”, in gross violation of constitutional principles of neutrality. His office was also sealed.