The Telegraph
Friday , February 14 , 2014
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Kejriwal stymied in bid to table Jan Lokpal Bill in Assembly

New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) : The Aam Aadmi Party on Friday tabled the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly, defying the Lt Governor’s advice, but failed to introduce it after 42 legislators in the House of 70 opposed it.

The House had to be adjourned for 20 minutes after Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress members created an uproar over Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s attempt to introduce a Bill that had not been cleared by the Union government.

The chaos began when Kejriwal got up to say he was tabling the Bill. BJP and Congress members opposed the government’s move and said it cannot violate the Constitution.

Amidst the din, Speaker M S Dhir announced that he was allowing tabling of the Bill and wanted discussion at the introduction stage.

However, the opposition members rushed to the well protesting against the Speaker's decision resulting in chaos and forcing the Chair to adjourn the House for 20 minutes, the second in the afternoon.

After the House resumed, BJP leader Harshavardhan asked the Speaker not to allow violation of constitutional procedures.

“You do not have powers to introduce this Bill. This Assembly will not accept such behaviour at any cost. If violation continues then as per constitutional provisions, any other Speaker can be asked to lead the Chair,” he said.

Congress leader Arvinder Singh Lovely also opposed introduction of the Bill saying it was against laid down procedures.

“Bill has to be introduced through voting not through the permission of the Speaker. Whenever a Bill is introduced in the Assembly, it is not discussed on the same day in the Assembly,” he said.

Members need time to go through the Bil, especially when there is an advice by Lt Governor, he said.

”If you continue with this (discussion), it would be biggest disrespect to the House. It is against the House proceedings. We pray to you,” Singh said.

The Speaker said Leave of the House has been sought for introduction of the Bill. Following which a voting by MLAs was also carried out in the House. “Bill is not being introduced,” he said after the voting.

Earlier in the day, the BJP and Congress MLAs had created trouble from the start demanding tabling of the communication of the LG to the Assembly.

After some uproar and a short adjournment, the Speaker had read out the LG's communication.

Reading out the contents of the letter, the Speaker said under Section 22 (3) of the Government of NCT of Delhi Act 1991, the Jan Lokpal Bill being a Financial Bill is to be send to LG for recommendation.

Also, under Rule 55 (1) of Transaction of Business of Govt of NCT Rules 1993, the LG is required to make a prior reference to the central government before being introduced in the Assembly, the LG said in his letter.

”The said Bill has not yet been duly placed before me by the Government of NCT of Delhi…As the Jan Lokpal Bill is being introduced in the Legislative Assembly without following the procedure... I hereby send the message under Section 9 (2) of the Govt of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 to the Legislative Assembly, not to consider the Bill unless it is introduced with the recommendations of the Lt Governor,” he said.

The Lt Governor said the message may be conveyed to the Assembly before the Bill is introduced during the current Session.