Its provisions will overlap with the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, Solicitor-General tells Lieutenant Governor

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s move to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly without the Centre’s approval will be a violation of the constitutional mandate and the provisions of the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1993.

Legal opinion

This is the legal opinion Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran has given to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung.

Highly placed sources said the Lt. Governor sought the law officer’s opinion after the Chief Minister wrote to him on January 31, indicating that his government planned to bring in the Bill in the Assembly.

Mr. Jung wanted to know from the Solicitor-General whether its introduction without sending the legislative proposal to the Centre accorded with the Transaction of Business of the GNCT of Delhi Rules, 1993, whether the proposal “involves any constitutional infraction” and whether it was in tune with the mandate of Article 239AA (special provisions with respect to Delhi).

Mr. Parasaran replied that Parliament had passed the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, and many of the provisions would obviously be overlapping with the Jan Lokpal Bill sought to be presented before the Delhi Assembly.

“Since there is already an existing law made by Parliament…, the Jan Lokpal Bill… has to be necessarily placed by the Lt. Governor for consideration and grant of assent by the President to avoid any repugnance.”

In the absence of presidential assent, the law could never come into force, Mr. Parasaran said.

“A Bill, if enacted and if it involves expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the Capital, shall not be passed by the Assembly unless the Lt. Governor has recommended to the Assembly the consideration of the Bill.”

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