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Is the DDCA probe by AAP govt illegal? Najeeb Jung seems to think so

Suyash Upadhyaya | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:12 IST

One constitution. One Law. Two different interpretations. Possible?

It certainly is, if one was to observe the conflicting versions of whether the Aam Aadmi Party's probe into corruption in the DDCA was really 'unconstitutional', even 'illegal' as per the letter written by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to the Aam Aadmi Party states.

The Union Home Ministry has stated that the inquiry which was launched weeks ago by the Delhi Government is illegal, as it doesn't have the jurisdiction to look into the affairs of the Delhi and District Cricket Association.

But legally, is this declaration as hollow as what the Home Ministry says about the Delhi Government's probe into DDCA's corruption?

What Lieutentant Governor Najeeb Jung's letter states

Owing to the fact that Delhi is not a full-fledged state, the letter states that the state government has no power to appoint a panel of the nature of which Aam Aadmi Party appointed, to investigate corruption in the DDCA.

"The Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has accordingly held that the notification... issued by the Directorate of Vigilance, Government of NCT of Delhi, is unconstitutional, illegal and therefore has no legal effect."

The decision lies with the courts

Unsurprisingly, voices within the Aam Aadmi party say that the final decision lies with the courts, and that a Union Home Ministry declaration cannot derail the probe in which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had appointed former Solicitor General and lawyer Gopal Subramaniam.

Subramaniam is to investigate the matter in detail, following a nearly 250-page report that was submitted by a three-member panel (also appointed by Kejriwal) that is now merely being called a 'preliminary assessment'. Clearly, Mr Chief Minister is not letting the DDCA breathe easy.

Speaking on the matter, Aam Aadmi Party co-founder and spokesperson Rahul Mehra said,

"As far as the central government is concerned, everything that the state government of Delhi is doing is unconstitutional. But at the same time, they are running away from arguing the matter in the High Court. Adjournments after adjournments are being given by the court, the lawyers haven't even started on the other side where the constitutional matters have to be addressed!"

He added,

"We have a different interpretation of the provisions of the constitution, and the central government looks at it in a very (according to us) myopic manner from their own tinted lense. They are giving it a political colour when the constitution clearly says that the mandate lies with the state government".

"And since when has it become the question that whatever the Ministry of Home Affairs decides is the final thing? We still live in a rule of law, we are in a democracy, in a country where the final verdict is always of the judiciary."

The Jaitley offensive

Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley had earlier sued Arvind Kejriwal for defamation, but perhaps that blow is the most that the AAP will suffer before actual investigations begin before the court.

Till then, let the mudslinging continue.

First published: 8 January 2016, 7:56 IST
Suyash Upadhyaya @SuyashU

A believer of the Indian football dream and an ardent cricket fan who likes to explore the nuanced side of all sports, Suyash finds creative expression in sports writing. Lover of literature, Liverpool FC, and an earnest economics enthusiast, he has just joined Catch News after completing his post graduation at Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai. When not staying up the whole night watching football, he loves spending time playing the sport itself, reading, and generally wondering when he'll decipher everything about the world around him.