Delhi High Court judgement ‘huge embarrassment’ for Centre: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
NEW DELHI: Buoyed by the high court judgement over jurisdiction of Delhi government’s anti-graft body, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said the verdict was a “huge embarrassment” for the Modi dispensation and has strengthened his government’s fight against corruption.
At an event to mark 100 days of his government, Kejriwal said the high court’s order clarifying that the Home Ministry has no rights to interfere in the matters of ACB was a major victory for people of the city.
In a statement, the AAP government termed the high court verdict in “restoring the powers of the Anti-Corruption Branch” a “decisive victory” for the people of the city.
“I want to congratulate and apprise you of a major high court judgement. Forty years ago, the anti-corruption bureau had come up in Delhi. 40 years ago, its jurisdiction was over officials of all agencies based in Delhi, be it of the Union government, DDA, police, MCD, the ACB could probe instances of corruption of all these bodies,” he said.
The chief minister said the powers of the ACB were taken away last year by the NDA government after it filed a case against a leading industrialist.
“Last year when our 49-day government was formed, we had filed a case against a big person of this country, Mukesh Ambani. After our government quit, Centre issued an order restricting the ACB to Delhi government officials only.
“It said the ACB won’t look after the corruption of Union government officials, police and NDMC. Today Delhi HC ordered that the Centre and MHA have no rights to interfere in the matters of ACB,” he said addressing the “open cabinet” at the Central Park in Connaught Place.
Kejriwal said the court’s order has strengthened the resolve of his government in its ongoing fight against graft.
“We have got strengthened by this. All of them are after us. You must have been observing. But when you are in the path of truth, all the good forces of the universe help you. When the God is with you then there is no need to worry who is against you. Whoever is against will get destroyed gradually,” he said.
In its statement, the AAP government said the move to “curtail the original powers” of the ACB through an “ill-conceived” notification by the union home ministry on July 23 last year has been categorically “rebuffed” by the high court.
“The high court verdict will strengthen the resolve of the people of Delhi to fight corruption and it will go a long way in having an effective anti-corruption mechanism in the national capital.
“Delhi government is committed to eradicate corruption and make the national capital the first corruption-free state of India.”
The high court’s order came amid a bitter tussle between the AAP government and the Lt Governor over posting and transfers of senior officials as well as some other contentious issues.
The AAP government has called an emergency session of the Delhi Assembly beginning tomorrow to discuss the notification. It has also indicated taking legal recourse on the issue.
The gazette notification dated May 21 by the Home Ministry had said the LG will have jurisdictions over matters connected with services, public order, police and land and he may consult with the chief minister whenever he thinks necessary on issues of services using his own “discretion”.