The Delhi government on Monday made a change in its council of ministers, giving the law ministry's charge to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia by replacing Kapil Mishra.
Sisodia is the third law minister in the six-month old Arvind Kejriwal government.
Having been appointed in June, Kapil Mishra had succeeded Jitender Singh Tomar, who resigned after being arrested for lying about his law degree.
The decision to handover the law ministry to Sisodia was taken in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Mishra, who is an MLA from Karawal Nagar, is also the water and tourism minister.
Cabinet minister Gopal Rai told The Indian Express that Mishra being divested of the law portfolio should not be seen as a demotion. “He has a huge task of solving Delhi’s water problems and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has done very well under him. The decision was taken to enable him to concentrate on resolving the capital’s water problems, which is one of the government’s targets,” Rai said.
However, the Delhi government's move has raised many eyebrows since the decision to relieve Mishra comes days after the latter wrote a letter to the CM urging him to file an FIR against former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit.
In his letter Mishra said that a committee formed by him had found that the former CM, who was also the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Chairman, along with other board members had "consistently bypassed laws and rules to cause a loss of almost Rs 400 crore" to the DJB.
He also added that “This is a big expose. I am afraid that immediately after this, there will be attempts to destabilise our government in Delhi, and also to remove me from this chair."
The BJP has critcised the move, calling it one which smacked of “connivance between AAP and Congress".
"The view was that a harsh hand was required in the department (law)," an official told IANS.
Law will be the 12th department to be handled by Sisodia who has crucial portfolios like education, finance and urban development, among others.
With inputs from IANS