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"The Court Is Being Fed With Wrong Facts"
What do you think of the apex court indicting your government?
That's the court's outlook; I won't comment on that. I came to know of these comments from TV channels. But until the court summons us and tells us this, we won't express our opinion. I firmly believe we haven't failed. We were going by the schedule. We never said we'll implement cng when there's no cng, no buses, no autos. There are no safety norms—it's not my job. It's the Central government's job.
But the Centre has also washed its hands of you...
BJP people are my elders and I respect them, but they are such liars that even their lies sound like truth. (Petroleum minister) Ram Naik is saying that nobody from the Delhi government came to me, nor did they speak to me.... But the minutes of his own department show that a meeting between the petroleum secretary and my secretaries took place on February 8, 2001.
What was decided in those meets?
That there was a scarcity of cng, and cng stations will be provided. When I met Ram Naik I was told the Delhi transport secretary, the petroleum secretary, (and) the dtc chairman will chalk out a plan. The bjp government at the Centre is trying to defame the Congress government in Delhi. Centre apni kami ko chhupane ke liye, judiciary ke samne galat facts or figures rakh kar, hum pe hamla karva raha hai har taraf se (To hide its shortcomings, the Centre is placing wrong information before the judiciary and is trying to attack us from all sides).
What was the exact lapse of the Delhi government in the cng affair?
There was no lapse. Soon after we came to power, we filed an application on April 7, 1999, requesting that other alternatives be considered as cng was not feasible.
Why then does the Supreme Court say you didn't do anything despite enough time being given?
We respect court orders. But whatever the cabinet decided that day was because there was no option. All of Delhi was burning, buses were being damaged, arson was happening. In that situation we allowed those bus owners to operate who had filed an affidavit in court. We didn't violate any court order.
Why did the court pull you up then?
Our lawyer (Kirit) Rawal didn't have the facts and he could not present the facts properly before the court. I am not questioning the courts but even those lower level court employees who were scrutinising the affidavits could not process 10,000 affidavits. What will you say about that?
Do you think the courts failed to realise the gravity of the situation?
Facts were not properly presented before the Supreme Court. The court didn't hold our decision wrong; finally it did pass an order extending time till April 14.
But your own lawyer's deserted you and criticised your government...
He did it after resigning (from) his post. He is also a bjp man.
Then why did you keep him?
I kept him till the time I came to know that a person holding the post of the additional solicitor-general was making irresponsible statements.Instead of protecting us in court he took a total somersault. This is the conspiracy against the Delhi government in which everyone is involved, be it the bjp government at the Centre or agencies like that (sic). The court is being fed with all wrong figures. The court thinks whatever the Central government is saying is right and what the Delhi government says is wrong.