Delhi govt declares 'null void' high-level committee set up by L-G Anil Baijal

May 11, 2018, 04:49 IST | PTI

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the committee has been set up by the L-G as part of a "conspiracy" to derail the government's ambitious CCTV project which has reached its final stage for the execution

Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi government on Thursday declared as "null and void" a high-level committee constituted by Lt Governor Anil Baijal to prepare a common framework to install CCTV cameras in the city, setting a stage for another round of tussle between the AAP dispensation and the L-G office.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the committee has been set up by the L-G as part of a "conspiracy" to derail the government's ambitious CCTV project which has reached its final stage for the execution.

Hitting out at Baijal here, the deputy chief minister alleged that instead of creating hurdles in the project, the L-G should take steps to prevent crime incidents, which have been on the rise in the national capital.

Earlier this week, Baijal had formed Delhi Home Secretary Manoj Parida-headed committee which will have senior officials from police and concerned government departments.

Delhi Home Minister Satyender Jain today wrote a strong-worded letter to the L-G, saying he has no jurisdiction to set up such a committee which is, therefore "void ab-initio".

In the letter, Jain claimed that the committee was "illegal", "unconstitutional" and formed with the "sole objective" of obstructing the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government's CCTV camera project in the city.

Informing about the government's decision and Jain's letter, Sisodia told reporters that if the L-G continued to stop the AAP government's scheme, Delhi will not be benefitted.

"Installation of CCTV camera is a transfer subject which clearly falls under the jurisdiction of the government. But, L-G, who has the responsibility of ensuring law and order situation, is not focusing to prevent crimes in Delhi," Sisodia said.

In the letter, Jain also said, "Under the Constitution, L-G's job is to do good policing and prevent crime. Kindly concentrate on your job. It is elected government's job to install cameras. Please allow us to do our job."
However, the L-G office did not respond to allegations made by Sisodia and Jain.

"By that logic, anything and everything would be covered under law and order. Because power cuts can cause law and order problems, therefore, will start issuing independent orders to the power department?" Jain questioned in his letter to Baijal.

Jain also alleged that some officers had told him that the L-G did not want the project to take off and so was putting 'unnecessary objections' to keep it hanging. Accusing Baijal of using other means to scuttle the project, he said, "Last week, you used your former colleague Ajay Maken".

"You (L-G) got Maken to file a frivolous complaint of corruption in CCTV project which you would now refer to ACB and put a hold on this project till completion of the enquiry. You did exactly the same with Mohalla Clinics," the minister alleged.

On Monday, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken had alleged irregularities in the Delhi government's CCTV project and said that tenders were allotted without the Cabinet's nod.

While justifying that the project did not fall under the L-G's jurisdiction, Jain said that PWD would follow the model of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) in this regard.

He added that the L-G's committee would prescribe procedures that will make the project 'unviable', 'unimplementable' and 'ineffective'.

"In this (NDMC) model, the RWA, local police and the company installing the camera together decide the locations of cameras. DVR is located in a room provided by the RWA. NDMC, RWA and local police have access to the feed," he stated.

While questioning Baijal if he wrote any letter to the Centre about utilising the Nirbhaya Fund that lies grossly unutilised, Jain said, "Law and order situation has been worst during your tenure. Have you ever stepped out of Raj Niwas, walked into the streets of Delhi and met people to understand their safety concerns?".

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