Speaker Ram Niwas Goel of Delhi assembly has written a letter to Chief Justice Gita Mittal of the Delhi high court, alleging that a division bench of the court had passed orders against the legislature without ascertaining facts.
“… In the recent past, every time the Legislature as an institute was assailed by two individuals who happened to be officers serving with the Government of NCT of Delhi, the pronouncements of a particular honorable Division Bench of the honorable High Court of Delhi turned out to be alarmingly injurious to the harmonious relationship that ought to exist between the three organs of the State,” he has written in the letter.
The speaker, who is the Aam Aadmi Party legislator for Shahdara, did not name the two officials. But, sources said, the reference is to petitions in high court filed recently by PWD principal secretary Ashwani Kumar and Delhi chief secretary MM Kutty.
Kumar approached court against “breach of privilege” proceedings initiated by the assembly’s privilege committee.
He got a stay from the court. The proceedings had been initiated against Kumar for allegedly misleading a house panel on desilting of drains in the city. Kutty also got a stay from the HC on a show-cause notice issued by the assembly’s “question and reference committee” for allegedly not following its directive to incorporate adverse remarks in the annual confidential report, or ACR, of a bureaucrat.
In his letter to the Chief Justice, Goel said: “I urge upon you to not to allow in future such acts which endanger the delicate balance and harmonious relationship that exists between the legislature and judiciary”.
When asked about the speaker’s letter, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said that chairpersons of some assembly committees had raised the issue with the speaker regarding bureaucrats getting stay from the high court.
“The speaker, in his wisdom, has confidentially shared the concern with the acting chief justice of Delhi high court. It is a communication between two persons holding constitutional posts”.
Earlier this month, deputy speaker Rakhi Birla, who is the chairperson of the questions and reference committee, and panel member Bhardwaj told reporters that the judiciary was “stalling the functioning” of assembly committees.