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Dhankhar accused Mamata of defying Constitutional obligations

Two days back when West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar came down heavily on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee, he also wrote to the Trinamool Congress supremo alleging that the failure of the government to furnish all the documents sought by the Governor indicates that "the state government is unable to function according to the Constitutional provisions".

Dhankhar accused Mamata of defying Constitutional obligations

Sentinel Digital Desk

KOLKATA: Two days back when West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar came down heavily on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee, he also wrote to the Trinamool Congress supremo alleging that the failure of the government to furnish all the documents sought by the Governor indicates that "the state government is unable to function according to the Constitutional provisions".

In the letter dated January 25 which surfaced on Thursday after the Governor uploaded it on his Twitter handle, Dhankhar called upon Mamata Banerjee to make available at the earliest information regarding Pegasus notification and also relating to Pandemic Purchase Enquiry, Bengal Global Business Summit, Bengal Aerotropolis Project, GTA, MAA Canteen and State Finance Commission.

The Governor said that the information was sought on July 26 last year, but the government has "chosen to maintain a studied non-responsive stance, thereby offering reprieve and cover to law offenders".

Referring to the many communications from the Raj Bhavan where the Governor sought several pieces of information, Dhankhar reminded the Chief Minister of her Constitutional obligations and said that it was her duty "to furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the state and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for. No information can be screened from the Governor once he seeks the same. Any failure would indicate that the state government is unable to function according to Constitutional provisions".

"In my January 19, 2022 communication, there is focus on your worrisome serial lapses to provide information sought invoking Article 167 of the Constitution regarding, among others, in matters of Pandemic Purchase Enquiry, Bengal Global Business Summit. Bengal Acropolis Project, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, MAA Canteen, State Finance Commission and the Pegasus Notification," the Governor wrote.

"In my January 21, 2022 note to the state government in the Department of Finance, apart from the above, I also sought information on the expenses by the state government towards funds spent out of the consolidated fund of the state for making print and electronic advertisements on behalf of the state government, including expenses relating to Anti-CAA and the details about the lease agreement with the private company in connection with chartering/leasing of a private plane," he added.

Referring to a communication by the Chief Minister where she wrote "furthermore, there can be no question of the office of the Hon'ble Governor seeking access to documents and files on a subject matter which is entirely within the domain of the state executive and in respect of which the Governor has no authority or jurisdiction", Dhankhar reminded Banerjee of Article 167 of the Constitution which says "It shall be the duty of the Chief Minister to furnish such information relating to the administration of the affairs of the state and proposals for legislation as the Governor may call for".

"I am deeply concerned that in these matters where in public domain and otherwise allegations of culpable fiscal irregularities indicating alleged scams of thousands of crores are reflected, you have chosen to maintain a studied non-responsive stance, thereby offering reprieve and cover to law offenders.

"Information was sought as regards alleged scams dotted by culpable fiscal irregularities resulting in windfall gains. Non-imparting of information has resulted in affording reprieve cover to law breakers. Such complicit conduct is least expected from you being under oath to 'bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution'," Dhankhar wrote.

The Governor also asked the Chief Minister to fall in Constitutional groove and, observing Article 166 (3) of the Constitution, provide him all the information sought as regards notification dated July 26, 2021 as also information relating to Pandemic Purchase Enquiry. Bengal Global Business Summit, Bengal Aerotropolis Project, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, MAA Canteen and State Finance Commission. (IANS)

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