Puts on hold Assembly panel’s hearing till Sept. 18 on Prakash’s request.
New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday expressed displeasure with a Delhi Legislative Assembly committee, comprising AAP legislators, for not completing its breach of privilege proceedings against chief secretary Anshu Prakash despite questioning him for over four hours.
“He has admittedly appeared before you (Committee of Privileges) for four hours. What kind of proceedings are these? In four hours of questioning, you would have known what you have to do. If you have not completed your proceedings within this time, we will not allow it to go forward now,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru initially said. After senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, appea-ring for the committee, said the officer’s presence was not required for now, the judge made it clear “no further hearing shall be scheduled” by the panel till September 18, the next date of hearing.
The court also noted that in view of the statement made by the senior lawyer, the apprehensions of the bureaucrat “does not survive”.
Prakash, represented by senior advocate Siddharth Luthra and advocate Vivek Chib, has said in his plea that despite repeated requests, the verbatim and video recordings of the proceedings have not been provided to him. He has claimed that without the records, he cannot defend himself against the char-ges of breach of privilege.
Nandrajog, appearing for the committee, said the verbatim records would be provided to the official as soon as it is authorised by the Speaker, who is in London and is expected to return on September 16.
He assured that the video records of the proceedings would be filed in court before the next date of hearing on September 18. The court, thereafter, directed that the video records of the proceedings before the committee on July 27 and August 20 this year be placed before the next date of hearing.
In the application filed through advocates Ruch-ira Goel and Asif Ahmed, Prakash urged the court to put on hold the proceedings before the committee till it provided him with the records.
He claimed that the committee had assured in the court that it would provide him with verbatim and video records of the proceedings. The high court on July 24 had told Prakash that he was “adequately protected” against any punishment by the Assembly committee.
The high court had on March 9 asked the panels not to take coercive steps against the IAS officers.