New Delhi: Memories of a certain Najeeb Jung, former Delhi Lieutenant Governor, has once again come to haunt Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. That too when Delhi is gearing up for MCD polls. 

A three-member committee was set up by Jung in August last year to investigate alleged irregularities and nepotism in the appointments made in various Delhi government departments. According to the findings of the panel, the AAP-led Delhi government has been alleged of gross misuse of power, nepotism, illegal allotment of land and unauthorized foreign trips, a report in The Hindu says.   

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While the report was submitted to LG’s office in November last year, the findings weren’t made public. Headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General VK Shunglu, the panel scrutinized 404 files of the Delhi government after Delhi High Court ruled that LG is the administrative head of Delhi. 

The report was made public by Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken on Thursday after getting hold of it through an RTI application. 

Here are the 8 major findings of the report. 

1. After an April 2015 order from Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office, the panel report says: “It became the practice among ministers not to obtain the approval of the LG and to provide approval at their level.” Under the rules governing Delhi government’s functioning, a Chief Minister needs to consult LG for the decisions taken up by CM’s office. 

2. The 101-page report also says the Delhi government’s decision to allot land to AAP for a party office should be considered “null and void”, an NDTV report says. “The elected government doesn’t have any power to deal with the subject of land, let alone allot it,” the panel report said. 

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3. “The appointment of Nikunj Agarwal as OSD (Officer on Special Duty) to the health minister on co-terminus basis is a case of violation of recruitment procedure and lack of authority. Co-terminus appointment can be only made with the approval of the lieutenant-governor but the matter is not placed before the lieutenant-governor. The case does not seem fit for ex-post facto approval,” the report said. Nikunj Agarwal is a relative of Kejriwal’s wife, a Firstpost report said, while quoting the report. 

4. The Firstpost report also said that the panel raised questions on allotment of an official residence to the chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal and MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi.

“Maliwal was provided accommodation though in the ordinary course she was not entitled to it as per provisions of the DCW… 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 the lieutenant-governor’s approval was not taken,” the report reads. 

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5. Raising questions over the appointment of Soumya Jain, the daughter of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, as an advisor of Delhi State Health Mission, the panel report says: “Soumya asserted her expertise with regard to Mohalla clinics even though her CV does not support her claim. Second, the memorandum of the Association of State Health Society (Delhi) and rules and bylaws do not support such appointment. The file contained no evidence of who approved her appointment.” 

6. The name of suspended IAS officer Rajendra Kumar also crops up in the panel report. 

“Rajendra Kumar was directed to hold additional charge of both the portfolios. This decision facilitated many subsequent actions which may not have been otherwise possible. It is a different matter that this order was ab-initio null and void but remained in force till Kumar was suspended in June 2016. The subject of services does not belong to the Delhi government,” the report said.

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7. The report has also flagged several appointments of officials made by Delhi government in its Anti-Corruption Branch. Besides, the panel also questions various transfers ordered from the office of CM taken without the consultation of LG. 

8. The Shunglu report has also come down heavily on the foreign travel undertaken by ministers of AAP government without the L-G’s sanction. 

Meanwhile, the issue is to likely turn into a political firestorm in coming days with Congress and BJP hitting out at Kejriwal. 

Congress has also demanded the resignation of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the findings of the report and asked for an inquiry into the matter.

However, AAP has termed the findings of report as “mudslinging.” 

“The Shunglu committee report is aimed at mudslinging,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain told NDTV. 

Feature image source: PTI/File Photo