NATIONAL CAPITAL TERRITORY OF DELHI
17 October, 2017
The Questions and Reference Committee in its meeting held today (17/10/2017) took note of the reports in various newspapers dated 17 October, 2017 regarding certain observations purportedly made by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in connection with the proceedings of Questions and Reference Committee. The Committee noted with anguish that the Hon’ble High Court while granting stay as pleaded by the Chief Secretary of the Govt. of N.C.T. of Delhi held that “Prima facie, it appears that the rescheduling of the meeting, by merely one hour, in response to the request contained in the applicant’s letter dated 12 October, 2017, is unreasonable.” Regrettably, the Hon’ble High Court was misled into believing all the fallacious contentions of the Chief Secretary to be true before passing such an order.
The Chief Secretary was untruthful when he had purposely hidden all facts in the matter from the Hon’ble High Court. He did not bring to the notice of Hon’ble High Court the fact that he was asked to present the status of the action taken by him on the recommendation of the Committee dated 18 May 2017. He was asked to present the said status report on 28 September, 2017 vide notice dated 21 September, 2017, which he failed to comply with and instead sought more time. He did not highlight the fact that it was he who insisted on postponing the next meeting originally sought to be scheduled for 04th of October, 2017 to the 16th of October, 2017. Though majority of the Members were disinclined to grant time in view of the inordinate delay that had already happened in the matter, the Chairperson intervened and after convincing the Members of the Committee announced in the Committee meeting itself that the next meeting would he held on 16 October, 2017 at 3.00 p.m. The Chief Secretary was on record profusely thanking the Committee for acceding to his request. He had assured that he would come before the Committee on 16 October, 2017 with Action Taken Report as directed by the Committee. Just three days before the scheduled meeting of the Committee, the Chief Secretary writes to the Secretariat of the Legislature seeking time of 10 more days. The request was brought to the notice of Hon’ble Chairperson who in turn took the sense of the Hon’ble Members of the Committee and directed the Secretariat to convey to the Chief Secretary that his request seeking further time is declined. Accordingly, it was categorically stated in the communication sent to the Chief Secretary by the Secretariat of the Legislative Assembly that the meeting was already once postponed to the day of Chief Secretary’s choice and that “it is not possible to grant you any more time or postpone the meeting any further in the interest of the proceedings of the Committee.” Since it was brought to the notice of the Committee that the Chief Secretary had a meeting scheduled in the PMO on 16 October, 2017 at 2.30 p.m., to make sure that he finds it convenient to attend the meeting, the meeting of the Committee was re-scheduled to 4.00 p.m. instead of 3.00 p.m. Apparently, this fact was misrepresented by the Chief Secretary before Hon’ble High Court as grant of mere 1 hour by the Committee, in lieu of 10 days time that he had asked for. The Hon’ble High Court, it appears had allowed itself to be misled by the untruthful submissions made by the Chief Secretary and in its wisdom granted relief as sought by the Chief Secretary. Though, the Committee had not received any formal communication from the Hon’ble High Court in this regard, the Committee had an opportunity to look at a copy of the order purportedly passed by the Hon’ble High Court on 16 October, 2017 in the said matter. From the order, it is obvious that the Chief Secretary tried to link issue of services to cover up his inability to fulfil the commitment he had made before the Committee. From the order, the Committee could infer that there was no occasion for anybody to set the record straight before Hon’ble High court as far as the claims made by the Chief Secretary are concerned. It is also learnt that the Hon’ble High Court declined the request of Counsel of Govt. of N.C.T. of Delhi to hear the matter after a gap of an hour so as to enable him to gather the facts from relevant quarters. It is pertinent to mention that the Hon’ble High Court in a span of less than two months, through its orders, had ended up effectively stalling the functioning of the Committees of Legislature in three different matters. On the first occasion when Shri Ashwani Kumar approached the Hon’ble High Court challenging the proceeding of the Committee of Privileges, the Standing Counsel of Govt. of N.C.T. of Delhi was taken on record as representative of Legislature as well, though he hardly had time to gather facts from the legislature. Subsequently when Dr. M.M. Kutty approached the Hon’ble High Court on a Saturday with none representing the Legislative Assembly, the matter was decided in favour of the Chief Secretary and against the Legislature in the Chamber of Hon’ble Chief Justice. Now the order of 16 October, 2017 is another such instance where the Legislative Assembly had no occasion to convey the facts to the Hon’ble High Court. Assuming that all these instances where the individuals assailing one of the three organs of the State i.e. Legislature ended up getting instantaneous relief in all three matters is a mere co-incidence, the Committee decided to request Hon’ble Speaker to take all necessary measures in an appropriate manner to ensure that this perceived encroachment the part of judiciary into the legislative domain in gross violation of constitutional scheme of separation of powers is halted forthwith. The Committee also urged Hon’ble Speaker to take up issue in an appropriate manner to ensure that the independence of Legislature in its own sphere is upheld and harmonious relationship between the three organs of the State is sustained and nurtured in a healthy manner.
CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE OF EVENTS:
The Directors of the Delhi Nagrik Sehkari Bank appoint 40 employees in the bank without following any process. The people employed are close relatives of the Directors of the Board.
Some 62 officers of the bank are awarded illegal promotions in the same bank.
Whistleblowers file complaints to the Bank, Registrar of Co-operative Societies (RCS), Hon’ble LG, RBI. They do not get any relief from any authority.
27 Nov 2012
Hon’ble High Court orders under WPC 7398/2012 to decide the grievances of the petitioner in 3 months.
There were various inquiries and inspections by RCS which clearly brought out gross illegalities but 40 employees appointed illegally kept enjoying their services in the said bank.
Many Secretaries and RCS come and went away on transfer but situation remained the same.
RCS Ms. Alka Diwan heard the case, reserved the order but did not announce it.
RCS Mr. T. Srikanth heard the case again, reserved the order but did not announce it.
05 Aug 2015
Hon’ble High Court bench of Justice Gita Mittal and Justice IS Mehta directs RCS to decide the complaints related to loans disbursed on the basis of fake ITRs and fake property papers.
13 Jan 2017
RCS Mr. Shurvir Singh again heard the case and reserved the order on 13 Jan 2017.
18 Jan 2017
In Delhi Assembly session dated 18 Jan 2017, the un-starred Question no. 62 by Hon’ble MLA related to status of illegal appointments and promotions in ‘Delhi Nagrik Sehkari Bank’ for which reply from Department of Cooperative Society was found to be incomplete and unsatisfactory.
The concerned Member of Legislative Assembly Mr. Akhilesh Pati Tripathi complained to the Hon’ble Speaker about the unsatisfactory and incomplete reply to his question. The Hon’ble Speaker referred the matter to Questions and Reference Committee of Delhi Assembly.
15 Mar 2017
The Committee headed by Hon’ble Deputy Speaker of the Assembly took up the matter on 15.03.2017 and 02.05.2017. The then Secretary cum Registrar of the RCS (Mr. Shurbir Singh) was questioned during the meetings of Questions and Reference Committee. In the two consecutive meetings of the Committee, the then Secretary cum Registrar of the RCS did not answer the specific questions of the Committee members.
17 Apr 2017
RCS announced that order asking Bank to decide about hiring and promotions, fined collectively 11 ex-directors for Rs 5 lacs.
02 May 2017
On 02.05.2017, the Committee of Questions and Reference took on record its displeasure that Mr Shurbir Singh, the then Secretary cum Registrar of the RCS did not answer the questions of the Committee members and the Committee recommended to the Chief Secretary of GNCTD to record the displeasure conveyed by the Committee in the ACR of the aforementioned officer. This was communicated to the Chief Secretary of GNCTD vide letter dated 18.05.2017.
26 Jun 2017
Bank discharged the services of 40 illegal employees of the bank.
19 Sept 2017
As the RCS Mr Shurbir Singh was summoned to appear before Q/R Committee on 20 Sep 2017, Bank reverted the orders of illegal promotions to 62 employees.
20 Sep 2017
On 20.09.2017 during the meeting of the Questions and Reference Committee, while discussing the matter, the Committee found out that recommendations of the Committee meeting dated 02.05.2017 were not acted upon. Hence, a notice was issued to the Chief Secretary of GNCTD to appear before the Committee on 28.09.2017.
In the notice dated 21.09.2017, the Chief Secretary of GNCTD was asked to appear before the Committee on 28.09.2017 along with the action taken report by Chief Secretary regarding incorporation of remarks conveying displeasure of Questions and Reference Committee in the ACR of Mr Shurbir Singh, former Secretary cum Registrar of RCS for his non-cooperative behavior before the Committee.
28 Sep 2017
The Chief Secretary appeared before the Committee on 28.09.2017 without any Action Taken Report in the matter. When asked about the file movement dates, the Chief Secretary requested that he may be permitted to submit the same in the next meeting before the Committee. The Committee while conveying its displeasure asked him to appear before it on 03.10.2017 along with a report of action taken by him in this regard. The Committee was planning to table its report in the Delhi Assembly’s session dated 04.10.2017.
On insistence of the Chief Secretary that he needs more time, the Committee members asked the Chief Secretary to just provide the Committee by 12 noon on 04.10.2017 with the dates of the file movement so that Committee is assured about the due diligence on the part of Chief Secretary so that the report can be finalized for presentation before the House. Though the Hon’ble Members of the Committee wanted to table at least the interim report in the Assembly Session starting on 04.10.2017, the Hon’ble Dy. Speaker who is the Chairperson of the Committee intervened and asked the Chief Secretary to suggest a date on which he is comfortable to appear before the Committee along with ATR. The Chief Secretary himself mentioned 16.10.2017 as suitable date for appearing before the committee along with ATR. The Committee graciously agreed for the date proposed by the Chief Secretary.
12 Oct 2017
After thanking the Committee for acceding to his request for scheduling the next meeting on 16.10.2017 as per his convenience, the Chief Secretary assured the Committee that he would come before the Committee with the ATR. But, instead the Chief Secretary further requested the Committee vide letter dated 12.10.2017 to postpone the meeting by 10 more days.
13 Oct 2017
The Chairperson of the Committee considered the said request in consultation with the Members and declined the same. The same was conveyed to him vide letter dated 13.10.2017. The meeting was rescheduled for 4 PM on same day instead of 3 PM upon learning that the CS had a meeting scheduled at PMO at 2.30 PM. Change in timing had NOTHING to do with his request for postponement of meeting by ten days.