BJP govt reduces Delhi ACB to a useless body
The Aam Aadmi Party demands that the BJP-led central government should immediately withdraw the union home ministry’s completely unjustified notification which severely curtails the jurisdiction of the Anti Corruption Branch of Delhi government.
The July 23 notification of the home ministry, reported by the Hindustan Times today (Monday), renders the very existence of the Delhi ACB as futile. It is extremely shocking that the Narendra Modi government which came to power on the promise of eradicating corruption, is doing completely the opposite of that. The amendment to the original notification of 1993, now states :“ This notification shall apply to the officers and employees of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.” (Read the complete notification)
This step of the BJP government makes a complete mockery of the anti-corruption mechanism in Delhi. It means that provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act cannot be applied by the ACB even if it receives a complaint of corruption, on anyone except those mentioned in the above notification.
The question which obviously arises is why has the central government taken this completely arbitrary and illogical step ? Has the BJP forgotten its long repeated promise of providing full statehood to Delhi ? Why is it interefering with the 21 year-old notification which has stood the scrutiny of law and test of time ?
It is beyond any reasonable understanding as to why the Modi government is attempting to save the ministers of the former UPA government who were involved in the Rs 54,000 crore natural gas pricing scam.
There is no doubt that the Modi government is trying to pre-empt any future probe in mega corruption scams. Top BJP leaders, including finance minister Arun Jaitley, who was then the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, had questioned the Arvind Kejriwal government’s February 11 decision of handing over the probe of gas pricing scam involving the Reliance Industriest to the ACB.
Reliance challenged the legality of the FIR in the Delhi High Court and the then Solicitor General of the UPA government had termed the FIR as illegal. All these entities and individuals received a rude shock when all their attempts to escape the rule of law were snubbed by the High Court, which on May 20, asked the central government and Reliance to cooperate with the ACB in the probe.
Only last week, the ACB informed the Delhi High Court that it has jurisdiction to probe the gas pricing case and its investigation is going on, therefore the Centre’s interference at this juncture is a clear attempt to help the Reliance in escaping from facing the law after having committed one of the biggest scams in the history of independent India.
The AAP will take the issue to the people of Delhi and will conduct awareness campaigns across the national capital to expose the real face of the BJP. The party’s legal team is examining the notification and will decide the next step soon.