The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has told Delhi government that they recognised only their appointee Dharam Pal as the principal secretary (home) and any other person sitting on a similar post created by them does not exist for it.
Sources, however, said the MHA was split on taking any serious action against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s secretary Rajender Kumar as he had taken over as principal secretary (home) on the basis of an order issued by Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain.
The MHA has informed Delhi through official channels that for all official purposes, they would be communicating with Pal, a 1988-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, which is controlled by MHA.
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Pal even attended a meeting at North Block on Wednesday in his capacity as Delhi’s principal secretary (home).
“For us, it’s very clear who the home secretary is. We have communicated to the Delhi government through at least three letters that its order appointing Kumar was invalid. It has been told that the Lt-Governor’s order was binding,” a senior government official said.
Kejriwal met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, where he was asked to go by the rulebook and avoid any unnecessary confrontation with the Centre.
Sources said the ministry was divided on taking any action against Kumar as he was only following a minister’s order.
“Some wanted to issue him a censure but that would have spoilt his promotion opportunities in future. Since he was complying with the order given by an elected representative, we have decided not to recognise his post at all,” the official said.
Pal was removed by the AAP government after he signed a notification appointing Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police M K Meena as new chief of Anti-Corruption Branch following the L-G’s order.
The home ministry had earlier revoked the decision of the Delhi government to repatriate Pal to the Centre, terming it “ab initio void” and asserted that powers to transfer AGMUT cadre officers rest only with the Centre.
Following this, chief secretary K K Sharma too wrote to Kumar that following the MHA’s order, the Delhi government order stands rescinded.