Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken had filed an RTI (Right To Information) petition on 22 February 2017 to obtain the Shunglu Committee’s report on examination of 404 files on decisions taken by the AAP regime. He released the report on Thursday in Delhi, terming it “explosive”.
Earlier, Maken had released a copy of the RTI petition on his Twitter handle.
What is the Shunglu Committee?
On 4 August 2016, the Delhi High Court ruled that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) is the administrative head of Delhi and any decision taken without his consultation is illegal.
Subsequently, on 30 August 2016, LG Najeeb Jung set up a three-member Shunglu Committee to examine over 400 files for ‘infirmities and irregularities’ on decisions taken by the AAP regime.
The committee submitted its report on 27 November 2016.
What does the report say?
As reported by India Today, the report, which was leaked to the media last night, revealed the following:
- Appointment of Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain’s daughter, Soumya, as an advisor to Mission Director, Delhi State Health Mission. Soumya is an architect and the files contained no information on her appointment. The AAP government paid her a salary of Rs 1.15 lakh from the period April 18 to July 14, 2016, when Soumya resigned from the post.
- Allotment of 206, Rouse Avenue to AAP, which was a minister’s bungalow used as a party office. Allotment of Type-V quarter to an MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi for accommodation purpose.
- Allotment of Type-V quarter to an MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi for accommodation purpose.
- The Committee also raised questions on providing accommodation to the chief of Delhi Commission for Women, Swati Maliwal, even though she wasn’t entitled to one.
- The Committee raised objections over the appointment of Arvind Kejriwal’s relative, Nikunj Agarwal’s appointment as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the health minister.
- Shunglu Committee raised questions on the appointment of several personal staff of ministers including Roshan Shankar as advisor to the minister of tourism, appointment of Abhinav Rai to the minister of transport, appointment of Rahul Bhasin in CM office, appointment of Gopal Mohan, a close associate of Arvind Kejriwal.
- Abhinav Rai was hired on a contract basis as an OSD. According to the rules, the appointment can only be made if the post of Upper Divisional Clerk (UDC) is vacant. Rai’s salary was also raised to Rs 87,000, which is approximately four times the salary of a UDC. His salary was raised without the permission of the LG, which is also against rules.
- The Committee also raised questions on the appointment made under co-terminus basis, appointments of consultants and contractual appointments without following procedures.
- The report says there have been instances of foreign travel by ministers, both individually and as head of state, without the consent of LG.
- The committee also found the AAP government abusing power to engage a number of special councils.
- Another irregularity which the committee findings bring to light is the appointment of Parija P as a full-term member of administration in Delhi’s municipal taxation tribunal. Reportedly, Praija had no administrative experience and was unqualified for the post which requires the member to at least be a secretary level officer.
AAP’s reaction to Shunglu committee report
The Shunglu committee report was leaked before the upcoming Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections.
AAP had raised the issue of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) fraud and claims that the leak is a political agenda to divert attention from this serious issue.
The party’s Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey questioned the timing of the leak, while the head of AAP’s IT cell, Ankit Lal tweeted:
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also taken the opportunity to question Delhi government’s alleged abuse of power.
Congress’ Ajay Maken has demanded the resignation of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on “serious charges of corruption and nepotism”.
The Logical Indian hopes that the matter is properly investigated and the necessary action is taken.