DDCD vice-chairman Jasmine Shah restricted from discharging duties following LG order, say officials

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NEW DELHI: Delhi government think tank DDCD’s vice-chairman Jasmine Shah has been restricted from discharging his duties and his office sealed while the facilities enjoyed by him have been withdrawn following an order by the LG, officials said Friday.

Lieutenant General V K Saxena has also asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to remove Shah from the post of DDCD vice-chairman over allegations of misusing his office for “political purposes”, official sources said.

Reacting to the development, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted, “Jasmine’s office has been locked by LG alleging that he is AAP spokesperson. Then the office of Sambit Patra, who is ITDC chairman, should also be sealed since he is a spokesperson of the BJP.”

According to official sources, Shah was given two opportunities to reply to the show-cause notice issued by the director of the planning department on October 17 over charges of “misusing public office” by acting as the “official spokesperson” of the AAP. But he failed to submit a reply, they said.

“Instead, he said the reply was submitted to the minister of the planning department. The LG office wrote a letter to the chief minister’s office on November 4, seeking to know his reply. But the chief minister’s office, till now, has not replied to the letter.

“Thereafter, the lieutenant governor asked to remove him (Shah) and in the interim prevent any further misuse of the office of DDC. Shah’s office was sealed late on Thursday,” a source said.

Official sources said the process is on to withdraw his official vehicle and staff provided by the government.

The action came after BJP MP Parvesh Verma complained that Shah was “working as a spokesperson of the Aam Aadmi Party” even as he held the post of vice-chairman of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDCD).

The Planning Department of the Delhi government on Thursday issued an order, saying the lieutenant governor has ordered Shah to be restricted from functioning as vice-chairman of DDCD and from enjoying any privileges and facilities associated with it.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had last month said it was wrong to issue a showcause notice to Shah and asserted that it was the cabinet which has the power to question him. (PTI)