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Delhi HC asks Assembly panel not to insist on CS's appearance

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The today directed an not to insist on Anshu Prakash's appearance before it, saying that the panel's move to issue a notice to the top bureaucrat seemed to be an attempt to circumvent the process of law.

Justice questioned the move of the Delhi Legislative Assembly's Question and Reference (Q&R) Committee to issue a notice to the despite making a statement before the court on March 5 that it will not proceed in the matter concerning the bureaucrat till further orders.

The court said the committee's move to issue notice seemed to be an attempt to circumvent the process of law.

The had yesterday moved the high court after he was served a notice by the asking him to appear before it to examine issues relating to

"After giving a statement on March 5, the complainant (Q&R Committee) immediately issued notice to the chief secretary, asking him to appear before it today.

"What was the urgency of issuing the notice. Ask your client (committee) not to do this. Tell your client that it seems as if you are trying to circumvent the process of law. Wait for the outcome of the main petition pending in the high court," Justice Shakdher told the for the committee.

The court suggested to the committee to withdraw the March 6 notice, in which it had asked the to appear before it today at 3 PM.

"As far as the is concerned, you withdraw this notice and do whatever has to be done," it said.

To this, Manish Vashisht, appearing for the Assembly committee, said the panel cannot withdraw the notice as it has been issued against two other officers also.

However, the assured the court that the panel will not ask for the personal appearance of the chief secretary, adding that some other staff from his office can bring certain relevant documents for the scheduled meeting.

Senior Sanjay Jain, appearing for the chief secretary, contended that it was a clear case of attempt to browbeat and intimidate him.

He said the issuance of notice amounts to overreaching the process of law and it was a contemptuous act as it should not have been done when the matter was pending.

Senior Sandeep Sethi, appearing for the (LG), said the for the had made a statement before the court on March 5 and the panel should have stood by it.

He said it was a matter of propriety and he was shocked that the issued a notice to the


The was earlier served a notice by the for skipping a meeting on February 20, which was scheduled a day after he was allegedly assaulted by two MLAs -- Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal. They both are in jail.

He also did not attend the subsequent meetings on February 21 and 23, following which the notice was issued on March 1. The had issued the notice after it received a complaint against the by the

With regard to the other two IAS officers -- J B Singh, of Cooperative Societies, and Shurbir Singh, of the Improvement Board (DUSIB), to whom the notice was also served by the Q&R Committee, the said he cannot pass any order in their regard as they have not approached the court and the panel can proceed against them.

Jain said the is the of the state and he cannot be treated in this manner. It is "sheer vendetta", he contended.

Vashisht claimed that no malafide or malice can be attributed in the issuance of the notice.

The and the other two officers were called for the meeting by the to examine the issues in which reply from the Department of was found to be uncomplete and unsatisfactory. The issues relate to

In the main petition challenging the notice issued by the Privileges Committee, the court had on March 5 sought response of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Privileges Committee, the Q & R Committee, the and the and listed the matter for hearing on April 11.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 17:26 IST
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