DELHI LAW MINISTER ARRESTED: IN BAD TASTE, EVEN IF IT DIDN’T SURPRISE US

Well, it was really in bad taste, even if it didn’t surprise us.

Now, it doesn’t hurt anymore that the Aam Aadmi Party has deviated to the extent that we don’t find any semblance to the party that people had shown faith in to deliver the needed political change.

Instead of bringing the change, the AAP has changed completely. Not going ethical and compromising on people’s pasts have become very much the character of the AAP in this short duration of its second tenure – since February 14, 2015 – when Arvind Kejriwal took the oath of office again.

But, even by the present standards, the arrest of Delhi’s law minister Jitender Singh Tomar looked more like a drama than a genuine legal development and each unravelling development kept us hooked throughout the day.

He claims his graduation and law degrees are genuine while the controversy surrounding it says there are fake and the resultant matter is sub-judice. The Delhi Bar Council has cancelled his registration finding his graduation degree fake after enquiry and filed a complaint on it.

The Delhi Police claims Tomar’s arrest has not been done in a hurry and the step has followed the norms laid by the Supreme Court.

Well, whatever be the truth of his degrees, if there was a controversy, he should not have been made a minister till he cleared the row. Politics of ethics and anti-corruption stand that the AAP claimed to be the motivating points did not permit that.

Okay, let’s accept that he was made a minister in the run of political experiments and therefore deserved the benefit of doubt. But then he should have been asked to resign from his ministerial chair the day the matter was cropped up in a big way by the AAP’s political opponents.

Delhi’s law minister Jitender Singh Tomar is facing serious allegations of subverting law. He is facing criminal cases of cheating and forgery. The political constituency of honesty that the AAP claimed to be his forte demanded immediate resignation of Tomar. He should have resigned the day the reports surfaced that the institutions from where he claimed to get degrees denied his claims.

He didn’t do it. The AAP didn’t do it. And Arvind Kejriwal chose to defend his minister.

He decided to slug it out in courts and in public to get the political mileage, like he tries to do in every case these days. That was in line with a changed AAP – behaving like any other outfit.

The AAP was playing a politically pragmatic game, as is the political norm, that it does in every case these days, to score political mileage, to play the victim card, to gain the sympathy factor, before the Punjab assembly polls. Yes, a senior AAP leader mentioned Punjab in his retaliatory remarks. Like has become the trademark of the AAP, his leaders, once again, issued irresponsible and anarchist statements today.

Anarchy is always politically relevant in every society, but not in this way, not the way the AAP thinks.

And like the AAP, its political opponents, including the BJP, too are playing the ‘pragmatic’ political games to further the political interest.

Yes, but the drama that surrounded detention and arrest of Tomar should have been avoided. There was no need to hastily arrest him when he was cooperating and the case was pending in the High Court where the next date of hearing is in August. Yes, what unfolded today looked ‘farcical’ as the Delhi court observed.

But, then who cares for these things these days in the course of furthering political interests.

What happened today in Delhi have been linked to the ongoing L-G Vs CM row in Delhi and that is quite natural. The Lieutenant-Governor appointed a Joint Commissioner of Police to head the Delhi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which the AAP government rejected. To further the L-G Vs CM political tug-of war, the secretary issuing the appointment order on the L-G’s order was removed. Obviously, the L-G had to reject and he rejected it.

Kejriwal is completing four months in office but his government has failed to do anything concrete for Delhi. Yes, there are electricity and water tariffs to talk about but these are far from enough. We don’t see any roadmap from the AAP but a confrontational attitude – within the party – and outside it. Senior AAP leaders are fighting and ‘shouting on political opponents’.

If this trend, that is in the self-destruct mode, continues, the AAP is bound to fail even in Delhi. After all, we are yet to see something politically constructive from the AAP. There is no trace of consolidating gains when it should have been the priority.

Arvind Kejriwal has not reconciled with the fact that Delhi is a half-state, or probably doesn’t want to. Delhi is also the national capital of the country. It has to be run in consultation with the Centre.

The L-G may or may not feel the heat of the ACB opening case of an old scam, but the AAP is certainly feeling the heat at the moment. And almost of it is its own doing.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AAP ON BACK FOOT AFTER DELHI HC’S INTERIM ORDER

Even if interim, the interim order of the Delhi High Court has come as another jolt of the day for the Aam Aadmi Party.

Even if its leaders may take respite in the fact that the matter is sub-judice in Supreme Court and High Court and may chose to react accordingly (trying to look unfazed by the developments of the day), the reality of the day clearly goes against them.

Even if they shield behind the logic of the notice given by the HC to the Centre on Ministry of Home Affairs’ notification of May 21 that backs the lieutenant-governor on bureaucratic appointments and prevents the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) of Delhi from taking cognizance of the offences committed by the Central Government employees, they will find the day’s developments hard to reconcile with.

Even if they say the orders are just the beginning and the SC has asked the AAP government to file its reply in three weeks on the Centre questioning the Delhi HC order on ACB jurisdiction and it will present its viewpoint on the court, an anti-AAP message has gone.

May 29, 2015 is a day when the AAP had to face two jolts, two negative developments, a day after the special session of Delhi assembly where the Central Government and the L-G had been lambasted, where anti-notification and anti-Union government resolutions were passed and where Arvind Kejriwal had openly challenged the Centre on interfering in Delhi through ‘such’ notifications.

First, the SC issued notice to the AAP government on the Centre’s plea about ACB jurisdiction saying the Delhi HC’s observation about the notification was not ‘binding’. Then there came the double whammy with the Delhi HC’s interim order which said the L-G was the constitutional head of Delhi and his orders were binding on the Delhi Government – till its conclusive orders.

It even didn’t pass any order on the Delhi Government’s proposal. The proposal said the government would send its decisions to the L-G for review and in case of any disagreement between the L-G and the Delhi council of ministers, the President’s words will be final. The HC passed the proposal to the L-G but refused to set any deadline.

After today’s developments, the AAP government has three weeks to explain in the SC that why the MHA notification violates the constitutional provisions and the laws governing Delhi vis-à-vis ACB’s jurisdiction.

And the Centre has six weeks to file an affidavit in the Delhi HC on its notification and how the transfers and postings were done in previous governments in Delhi.

Till the time an order comes, Najeeb Jung is the constitutional head of Delhi and will prevail in matters of bureaucratic appointments including the latest order by Arvind Kejriwal transferring nine bureaucrats where he did not consult the L-G.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

CM VS LG ROW: SC ASKS DELHI HC TO RULE ON MHA NOTIFICATION FIRST

As expected to be among the expectations from the court in the ongoing row between the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Delhi lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung, the Supreme Court of India has asked the Delhi High Court to hear the Aam Aadmi Party’s (APP) plea against the gazette notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs first (MHA).

In doing so, the apex court has taken a neutral stand for any concerned stakeholder in this case, the Union Government led the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Delhi Government led by the AAP.

While it told that the Delhi HC order calling the MHA notification ‘suspect’ was tentative, at the same time, it refused to put any stay on the Delhi HC order on jurisdiction of Delhi’s Anti-corruption Bureau. It has also asked the AAP government to file a reply within three week on the Centre’s plea seeking to put a stay on the Delhi HC order. It said it would go ‘into’ the issue later.

It has asked the Delhi HC to rule on the MHA notification first that whether it violates the constitutional norms and various laws governing Delhi. The apex court has said that it wants the Delhi HC to listen to the matter objectively and without any influence, including the ‘suspect’ comment by a HC judge, and therefore it is not passing any comment.

So, till the time Delhi HC comes with a ruling, the status-quo on the MHA notification is maintained, means the bureaucratic appointments in Delhi would remain under the L-G. The HC ruling would also clear the ACB’s jurisdiction.

And it is also clear that the losing stakeholder in this case would move to the Supreme Court to overturn the decision of the Delhi HC – be it the AAP or the BJP.

So, let’s see how it goes in the Delhi HC – the next stage of the legal battle, the only logical way out in the ongoing CM Vs L-G or Delhi Government Vs Centre row.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/