New Delhi: Over 50 lawmakers of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi refused to provide the details of their assets and liabilities to Lokayukta on Monday. Instead, the MLA’s sent their notice to Lokayukta which stated that the ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the matter.
The remaining MLAs were asked to file their replies by February 27. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj reportedly said that no law demands the MLAs to submit details of their assets and liabilities to the Lokayukta.
However, he added that the central government have to make the filing of annual assets report compulsory under the provision of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act. Bhardwaj claimed, “The notice by Lokayukta to MLAs is malafide as it is guided by her tiff with Delhi government. The Lokayukta has misused her office and powers and we are protesting that misuse.”
Earlier in the month, Lokyukta Reva Khetrapal had asked the Delhi MLAs to send their replies regarding the submission of details of their assets and liabilities after an advocate and RTI activist Vivek Garg filed a complaint. Similarly, last week, Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had written to the Lokayukta asking her to withdraw the notices to the MLAs, claiming that they were not bound to declare their assets and liabilities as per Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013. Goel claimed that the complaint was “politically motivated” as it did not carry the signature of Garg.
However, the Lokayukta office sources alleged that Garg’s complaint was signed and duly supported by a sworn affidavit.
BJP’s Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said he and his colleague Manjinder Singh Sirsa submitted statements of assets and liabilities for three years, beginning 2015-16, before the Lokayukta.
He said that other BJP MLAs, Jagdish Pradhan and OP Sharma, who were unavailable due to personal reasons, will also submit their details of assets and liabilities.
(With Agency inputs)