Turf war with Delhi L-G continues, Kejriwal to meet President today
New Delhi: There is no end to tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Dr Najeeb Jung over the appointment of acting Delhi Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin. Kejriwal is scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee at 6 PM on Tuesday over the issue.
The Delhi government has sought the opinion of Supreme Court advocate Rajeev Dhawan, who said the right to receive information doesn't give the L-G the right to interfere.
Amid its bitter face-off with the L-G, the Aam Aadmi Party government has directed all its officials to apprise the Chief Minister or Minister concerned about any oral or written direction from the L-G or his office before following them.
In a directive, the order signed by Kejriwal, said the bureaucrats including the Chief Secretary will have to first consult with the Chief Minister and other Ministers about any communication from the L-G before acting on such directions.
"To ensure smooth functioning of day-to-day affairs of our government in accordance with the Constitution of India, the Government of NCT of Delhi Act and Transaction of Business of the Delhi Government it is hereby ordered that any direction or order, whether oral or written, received from Honorable L-G or his office to the Chief Secretary or any administrative Secretary, shall first be submitted by the concerned administrative Secretary/Chief Secretary on the file to the Minister in-charge and the Chief Minister for a decision," the order said.
The order came amid deepening confrontation between Kejriwal and Jung over appointments of top bureaucrats in the Delhi government.
Earlier in the day, the AAP government told the L-G that it would not comply with his "unconstitutional" orders.
Citing the rules under which Delhi is administered, the order mentions that it was the collective responsibility of the council of ministers for disposal of all business of the government.
Rule 4 of Transaction of Business Rule (TBR) makes abundantly clear that the minister in-charge of a department shall be primarily responsible for disposal of the business pertaining to that department.
Chapter IV and V of the TBR outlines the method for disposal of business relating to L-G's executive functions and procedure to be followed in case of difference of opinion between L-G and a minister/council of ministers, it said.
Pointing at the L-G bypassing the rule, Kejriwal wrote that none of the three statutes authorise the L-G to issue any order/direction to Chief Secretary or any administrative Secretary bypassing the minister in charge or council of ministers.
"As you are aware the Chief Secretary and the Secretary of the department are severally responsible for the careful observance of the TBR under rule 57. Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary and heads of department are directed to strictly adhere to this order," the order further said.
(With additional information from PTI)