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Delhi Assembly committee seeks contempt action against SDMC chief, UD secy

The contempt proceedings will be referred to the Speaker, who may then send it to the privileges committee of the assembly.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
December 14, 2016 4:39:57 am

The questions and references committee of the Delhi Legislative Assembly Tuesday recommended that contempt proceedings be initiated against the South Delhi Municipal Corporation commissioner and Janak Digal, the principal secretary of the Delhi Urban Development Department, for failure to appear before the committee examining an alleged incomplete and incorrect answer given by SDMC to a question raised by AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj in the assembly.

On August 28, Bhardwaj had raised a question in the Delhi assembly over the utilisation of MLA Local Area Development (LAD) fund.

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The proceedings of the eight-member committee, chaired by assembly deputy speaker Rakhi Birla, began with the committee questioning the absence of SDMC commissioner Puneet Kumar Goel despite being issued summons on December 7 and 9 and being sent reminders on email and fax on Tuesday morning.

Additional commissioner Meeta Singh told the committee he had been called for a meeting with the mayor, followed by another with the Delhi chief secretary. Birla and Bhardwaj both said the commissioner may be asked to be present before them and excuse himself from the chief secretary’s meeting.

Bhardwaj, who questioned senior SDMC and government officials, asked the additional commissioner if the resolutions passed by the SDMC standing committee against the use of MLA funds for installing LED lights and gymnasiums in parks, were legally binding on the officials of the corporation. When the additional commissioner and the SDMC chief legal officer Rajneesh Bansal could not answer the question in “yes” or “no”, Bhardwaj said, “You can’t answer the questions that the commissioner can. Let him come before the committee tomorrow or face contempt proceedings.”

Adjourning the proceedings till December 19, Birla said, “After two-and-a-half hours, I can say we have all wasted our time because we have not been able to come to a conclusion. The commissioner may be absent for whatever reason, I think only those officers should come before the committee who have complete information.”

She told Singh, who was using her phone, “Madam, this is your first time before the committee and you seem to be taking it very lightly.”

The contempt proceedings will be referred to the Speaker, who may then send it to the privileges committee of the assembly.

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