Arvind Kejriwal tables Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi Assembly amidst chaos, AAP govt fate hangs in balance

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 14 2014, 23:11pm hrs
Arvind KejriwalDelhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after a ruckus in the Assembly in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI
Defying Lt Governor's advice, Arvind Kejriwal's AAP government today tabled the Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi Assembly amidst stiff protests from BJP and Congress members triggering an uproar and forcing adjournment of the House.

Amidst chaos following opposition demands for voting on the LG's advice to the Assembly against introduction of the Bill without following constitutional procedures, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal got up to say he was tabling the Bill.

Trouble broke out immediately with BJP and Congress members opposing the government's move and shouted slogans saying the government cannot violate the Constitution.

As shouting and counter shouting continued, 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. Members need time to go through the Bill. Especially when there is an advice by Lt Governor, members need to undergo Bill's provisions.

"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, Speaker M S Dhir 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 as per 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.

"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.

Uproarious scenes continued after the Speaker finished reading out the LG's message.