Shunglu Panel Finds ‘Gross Abuse of Power’ by Kejriwal’s AAP Govt

In a major setback to the Aam Aadmi Party government in New Delhi, the Shunglu Committee, formed by former Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to look into decisions taken by the government, has questioned several appointments made, including the appointment of Health Minister Satyendar Jain's daughter Soumya Jain in the Mohalla Clinic project.

Soumya, who is an architect, was made an adviser to Mission Director, Delhi State Health Mission. However she asserted her expertise with regard to Mohalla Clinics even though her CV does not support her claim. Second, the memorandum of Association of State Health Society (Delhi) and rules and bylaws do not support such appointment.

The panel said the decision to allot land to the AAP to build a party office should be considered "null and void" and also questioned the allotment of residence to DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal.

The Committee raised questions on the appointment of Nikunj Agarwal as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Delhi Health Minister.

The report was submitted to the L-G last year, but it surfaced on Wednesday after the Congress party accessed a copy through an RTI.

Also Read: Jung-E-Delhi: A Timeline of Najeeb-Kejriwal Power Struggle

The Root of the Conflict

The report observes that the genesis of the conflict lay in an April 2015 order issued by Kejriwal to all the departments.

It directed officers to take decisions without consulting the Lt Governor on all subjects that have been transferred to the Delhi Assembly under Article 239AA(3)a of the Indian Constitution.

The three-member Shunglu Committee, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) VK Shunglu, was set up by then Lt Governor Jung after Delhi High Court gave primacy to the L-G in Delhi administrative affairs in August last year.

The L-G office had called over 400 files on decisions taken by the AAP government in Delhi, for review.

In an earlier interview to a news channel, Jung had said that Kejriwal may face "criminal charges" over irregularities found by the panel.

Also Read: AAP vs Najeeb Jung: What Does the Constitution Say?

Politicos React

Politicians and leaders of opposition reacted to the news.

AAP’s social media manager Ankit Lal, however, questioned the timing of the report being made public.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS.)

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