The Centre has “abused” its authority by directing the Delhi chief secrertary to turn down the AAP government’s proposal to order a probe into the issue of metro fare hike, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said. In a letter to Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Kejriwal said his OSD’s letter to Chief Secretary M M Kutty, directing him not to order any inquiry, “reinforces” the impression that there is much more to this fare hike than “meets the eye”. Kejriwal said the letter, dated October 12, raises some fundamental issues of propriety as it relates to an “internal note” of the chief minister to the chief secretary and not any formal order of inquiry.
“I am not aware of any law, rule or convention that enables the MoUD to convey such an order directly to CS, Delhi, thus interfering in a matter which relates to an internal note sent by the CM to CS. As such MoUD’s ‘order’ to the CS asking him to disobey a direction given by his CM amounts to abuse of authority by MoUD,” Kejriwal wrote. He reiterated that the organtisation, management, control and accountability of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) suffers from “serious flaws” and the rationalisation and restructuring of the DMRC seems an “imminent necessity”.
Given that Delhi and the Centre have hold equal equity in the DMRC, Delhi surely has the “right” to examine any matter pertaining to the corporation, Kejriwal added. “As you know, DMRC can be compelled to part with requisite information even under the RTI act. So the effort of the MoUD to suppress any examination relating to DMRC is a cause for concern and creates a legitimate suspicion that something is being hidden,” he said.