Author: Shuchi Shukla
Date: April 7, 2017
A three-member committee set up by Delhi's former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to scrutinise decisions taken by the Arvind Kejriwal government, has alleged "gross misuse of power" by it. The Shunglu panel has red-flagged decisions like land allotment for the ruling Aam Aadmi Party's office in Delhi and the appointment of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain's daughter in a key health project. "The Shunglu committee report is aimed at mudslinging," said Mr Jain this morning.
1 Najeeb Jung had set up the committee in August last year under VK Shunglu, formerly the country's top auditor CAG, after the Delhi High Court ruled that the LG is the administrative head of Delhi and said decisions taken by the Delhi government without consulting him were illegal.
2 The report of over 100 pages alleges that powers of top bureaucrats were usurped and power was abused to benefit relatives of government functionaries by the Kejriwal government. It notes that after an April 2015 order by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, "it became the practice among ministers not to obtain the approval of the LG and to provide approval at their level."
3 The report says the decision to allot land to AAP for a party office should be considered "null and void" and also questions the allotment of an official residence to the chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal.
4 The Shunglu committee reviewed 404 files of the Delhi government and says in its report that it found several irregularities in appointments, among them that of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain's daughter Soumya Jain in a Mohalla Clinic project.
5 It notes that Soumya is an architect and her resume does not show the expertise she claimed to have for the Delhi State Health Mission. Also, the report says, "the file contained no evidence of who approved her appointment," and concludes that "these events can only be explained by the fact that Soumya Jain is the daughter of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain."
6 "Mudslinging," said Mr Jain this morning, insisting that the file on his daughter's appointment has "approvals and all necessary documents, no illegalities...she worked for 3 months and we paid ourselves for any travel and courses she did."
7 Mr Jain alleged that details of the Shunglu report, submitted in November, have been made public now to "malign AAP" ahead of crucial civic elections in Delhi this month.
8 The report has also questioned the Delhi government posting officers to the Anti-Corruption Branch, other decisions on transfer and appointments of officers and also foreign travel by ministers without the LG's sanction.
9 Mr Jung, who was engaged in a bitter power tussle by Team Kejriwal for months, had said the Delhi Chief Minister could face "criminal charges" over irregularities found by the panel. Najeeb Jung resigned as Delhi's LG in December last year and his successor Anil Baijal is yet to speak about the Shunglu committee report.
10 "The Shunglu report proved our allegations right," said the BJP's Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari. The Congress' Ajay Maken has said he will make the Shunglu report public today.