Manja Kite Independence day
Manja Kite Independence dayReuters

After Delhi Government banned the 'Chinese Manja,' (glass or metal coated kite strings) that caused the death of three people in the capital on Independence day, Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, seeking disciplinary action against Environment Secretary Chandraker Bharti.

On August 15, 'Chinese Manja' which is usually made of nylon strings that have a coating of meshed glass over it, claimed three lives — two children and a 22-year-old man — after their necks got slit, while a Delhi Police Sub-Inspector was injured.

The draft notification, that bans the sale, production and storage of Chinese 'manja' and warns of a punishment with imprisonment of up to five years or fine which may be extended to Rs. 1 lakh or both, was issued on Independence Day, not before it.

This, despite the high court bench consisting of bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal asking the government of Delhi on August 2, about their plans on issuing the directive.

The court did so as it was hearing a plea filed through advocate Tariq Adeeb on behalf of Zulfiquar Hussain, who alleged that earlier the "victims" of the synthetic thread were birds, "but now humans are also under threat" and referred to the recent death of a 28-year-old man in East Delhi, whose throat allegedly got slit by such a thread while he was riding a motorbike.

"That (notification) is waiting (LG's approval) and beyond that we (Delhi government) have no control," Delhi government's counsel had submitted to the court.

The Blame Game continues

In the aftermath of the 'freak' accidents, Sisodia on Wednesday said that Environment Secretary Chandraker Bharti was grossly negligent in performing his primary duty as a senior civil servant and alleged that he was at fault for the delaying the issuing of the draft notification, despite the fact that Environment Minister on August 5 approved the same and thereafter Lt. Governor had given his nod to it.

"The lack of timely action by the Secretary Environment Chandrakar Bharti has resulted in unfortunate loss of a precious life on the outer ring road on August 15," Sisodia told PTI.

 "Accordingly, it is proposed that honourable L-G may take necessary disciplinary action against the delinquent official who is found to be absolutely insensitive to the safety of our citizens on a matter (banning of glass-coated thread) which is being followed by the High Court," Sisodia said, while tweeting to make his point.

"The file was received from the LG office on August 9 and the same was duly processed at Deputy CM's office, Environment Minister's office, Chief Secretary's office and was sent to Environment Secretary on the morning of August 10 for issue of notification," he added.

The Lieutenant Governor's office has, however, according to reports said that Jung had approved the draft notification on August 8 and sent it back to the government the next day, while accusing the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of delaying issuance of the draft notification.