50 AAP MLAs refuse to share details of assets and liabilities to Lokayukta; raise questions on jurisdiction

50 out of 66 Lawmakers of ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi on Monday refused to share the details of their assets and liabilities to the Lokayukta Reva Khetarpal, stating in their replies to its notice that the ombudsman has no jurisdiction over the matter.

Sources in the Ombudsman Office told media that only three MLAs from Delhi Assembly have furnished their details in the office. Three Lawmakers include – BJP‘s Vijender Gupta, Manjinder Singh Sirsa and AAP suspended Kapil Mishra. Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and Transport Minister Kailash Gehlot among 50 Lawmakers that have filed their replies. However, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia have not. The remaining MLAs have been given time till February 27 to file their replies.

Speaking on the issue, AAP Spokesperson and MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said: ‘There is no law that states that MLA needs to furnish their assets details to Lokayukta’. He alleged “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”.

Bhardwaj however, said, that all the MLAs have filed their total assets and liabilities to Election Commission during Assembly elections 2013 and 2015 later.

Earlier, Delhi Assembly Speaker Ramnivas Goel in a letter to Lokayukta had asked to withdraw the notices sent to MLAs regarding the assets and said that they are not bound to declare the assets as per Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013.

Based on a complaint by the advocate and RTI activist Vivek Garg, Lokyukta Reva Khetrapal had earlier this month issued notices to Delhi MLAs seeking replies regarding the submission of details of their assets and liabilities.

Goel, in his letter also, claimed that the complaint was not signed by Vivek Garg and it was “politically motivated”.

However, the Lokayukta office sources claimed Mr Garg’s complaint was not only signed it was also 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.

He also criticized the AAP MLAs for raising questions over jurisdiction of Lokayukta over the Issue.

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