DDCD Matter Pending Before President; CM's Order 'Unconstitutional': Sources

In November, Arvind Kejriwal had asked the President to determine the fate of Jasmine Shah as DDCD vice-chair, sources said. Kejriwal's order rescinding the instructions is infructuous and unconstitutional, they added.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's order to revoke directions restricting DDCD vice-chairman Jasmine Shah from discharging his duties is "infructuous and unconstitutional" as the matter had been referred to the President in November itself, sources said on Saturday.

Lt Governor VK Saxena had last month asked Kejriwal to remove Shah from the post of vice-chairman of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDCD) over allegations of misusing his office for "political purposes".

CM Kejriwal had on Thursday (December 8) directed the Planning Department to recall the order restricting Shah from discharging his duties.

Sources, however, claimed that Saxena had on November 30 referred the matter to the President for a final decision, citing a difference of opinion on the issue and it was also "formally communicated to the chief minister in writing then itself". 

According to Article 239A A (4) of the Constitution, if there is a difference of opinion between the council of ministers headed by the chief minister and the lieutenant governor, the final decision rests with the President and is binding on them. 

Till the President takes a call, the LG is the competent authority to take action in such matters, sources said. 

In his November 30 note, the LG had directed that Shah be prohibited from discharging the functions of the vice chairperson, DDCD, and using the official premises pending the decision of the President, they said.

Given the facts, the December 8 order of the CM is not only "infructuous but also unconstitutional. At best it can be termed as an eyewash", the sources said, adding it has been issued to "divert attention and play up to the gallery". 

Since the decision is now pending with the President, no decision whatsoever can be taken by anyone in this regard. CM Kejriwal, knowing this constitutional position fully well, passed an illegal order on December 8, they said.

A petition filed by Shah in connection with the matter is also pending before the Delhi High Court.