In what may land Aam Admi Party (AAP) in trouble, Shunglu Committee, formed by former Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, has highlighted the "gross abuse of power” by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in the appointment process in Delhi.
The three-member committee, in over 100-page report, questioned the appointment of Health Minister Satyendra Jain's daughter Soumya Jain as an adviser to Mission Director, Delhi State Health Mission.
Soumya is an architect by profession and her expertise in Mohalla clinics was touted. The file contained no evidence of who approved her appointment. The AAP government paid her a salary of Rs 1.15 lakh from the period April 18 to July 14, 2016, when Soumya resigned from the post.
According to ANI report, the appointment of Nikunj Agarwal, a relative of Kejriwal, as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the health minister has also been questioned by the committee.
The committee has raised objection on the appointment of several personal staff of ministers including Roshan Shankar as advisor to the minister of tourism, appointment of Abhinav Rai to the minister of transport, appointment of Rahul Bhasin in CM office, appointment of Gopal Mohan, a close associate of Arvind Kejriwal.
Shunglu Committee has also raised questions on the appointment made under co-terminus basis, appointments of consultants and contractual appointments without following procedures.
The appointment of Parija P as a full-term member of administration in Delhi's municipal taxation tribunal was also pointed out by the committee.
It must be noted that Parija had no administrative experience and was unqualified for the post which required at least a secretary-level officer of Delhi to fill it.
Residential houses given under office accommodation: Panel
The Shunglu Committee has also alleged that the party allotted residential house to its minister under guise of office accommodation.
The committee raised questions on the allotment of 206, Rouse Avenue, a minister's bungalow used as party office by the AAP.
The report read: "Allotment of 206, Rouse Avenue, known as Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg (Ministers residences), to AAP. On 08.10.2015, Chief Secretary circulated a decision of the Cabinet approving allotment of land to political parties for construction of offices. The Cabinet "feels that there is an elected Government in National Capital Territory of Delhi and it has the prerogative to frame its own guidelines to allot land, to the political parties having their representation in Delhi Legislative Assembly.....". Since land is a reserved subject this decision should be deemed null and void. It is clear that this decision to allot land to political parties was really to validate allotment of government accommodation to AAP.”
Allotment of Type-V quarter to an MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi for accommodation purpose also got a mention in the report.
"In case of Sh Tripathi, it was decided to allot a Type-V furnished accommodation to him. This type of accommodation provides over 2,000 sq.ft. and is quite disproportionate to the need for office space for an MLA. Thus, it seems the idea was to allot a residential furnished house to Sh Tripathi under the guise of providing him office accommodation,” the committee said.
The Committee has also said that the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief, Swati Maliwal, was provided accommodation despite not being entitled for one and no approval of the Lt. Governor was taken for the same.
"The Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Swati Maliwal was provided accommodation though in the ordinary course she was not entitled to it as per provisions of the Delhi Commission Women (Honorarium, Allowances and Conditions of service of Chairperson and Members and other Provisions) Rules, 2000. Rule 8, a residuary provision, can be invoked in a case as an exception to the general rule but, only the Lt. Governor can approve such an exception. However, in this case Lt. Governor's approval was not taken. It rendered the accommodation given by the Minister (PWD) as an irregular allotment,” the report read.