NEW DELHI: Stoking yet another controversy, Lieutenant Governor (L-G) V K Saxena on Friday accussed that the city government of an “inordinate delay” of three years in submission of Lokayukta reports that highlight the issues faced by the anti-corruption ombudsman in terms of independence, lack of powers, and financial autonomy.
Saxena has flagged this issue in a letter written to the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“I would like to advise that the minister concerned may please be guided appropriately to dispose such important matters of public interest within reasonable period, so that the statutory purpose of laying it before the legislative assembly is not defeated and Delhi is not deprived of its wisdom,” he said.
The L-G also asked Kejriwal to recall that even on earlier occasion, such delays were brought to the chief minister’s notice and subsequently, the matter was placed in the assembly”. Saxena also pointed out that being the custodian of public trust, it is the incumbent upon higher public functionaries to display appropriate alertness in matters of public importance.
According to the sources at L-G secretariat, Saxena received the 16th and the 17th annual consolidated reports of the Lokayukta of Delhi, pertaining to 2017-18 and 2018-19, after a delay of three years from the city government. However, the reports have been approved by him to table before the Delhi assembly.
The reports highlighting various constraints being faced by the Lokayukta in terms of its ‘independence’, ‘lack of powers’, ‘compromised financial autonomy’ and ‘limited jurisdiction’, among others, were first submitted to the L-G on October 1, 2019. On October 23, 2019, the then L-G had sent reports to the chief secretary for an explanation of the government on the points raised by the Lokayukta, said sources.
“Instead of laying down these reports before the legislative assembly, so that they are debated for further strengthening the system of Lokayukta, the delay has deprived the assembly from taking cognisance of these important reports which deal with matters of corruption, abuse or misuse of position in cases of public functionaries,” a source said. Reacting to the issue, the Delhi government in a statement said, “The L-G should stop behaving like a school headmaster.”
AAP flags illegality in construction of MCD’s old age home
The ruling-AAP on Friday alleged illegality and irregularities in the construction of an old age home by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and took a swipe at the BJP. AAP MCD in-charge and MLA Durgesh Pathak said the civic body’s audit report reveals that the responsibility of building old age homes lies with the state government, but it got the building constructed illegally.
“The old age home was built but never used, now the barely 6-7 years old building is about to collapse,” he alleged.