Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia Monday wrote to Union Home minister Rajnath Singh stating that it will not be possible for the Delhi government to implement the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which had declared the suspension of two DANICS officers ‘void ab initio and non-est’.
About 150 DANICS officers had gone on a mass leave on December 31 in protest against the suspension of two of their colleagues — Subhash Chandra and Yashpal Garg — by home minister Satyendar Jain. This had led to another confrontation between the AAP government and the Centre. The MHA had written to the Lieutenant Governor stating that the order of suspension was without the authority of law.
In his four-page letter, Sisodia said the Delhi home minister was authorised to take action as per Rule 14 (2) of the Transaction of Business Rules, as the two officials refused to issue orders on the Cabinet decision to increase the remuneration of public prosecutors.
“The Home minister gave written and verbal directions to the two special secretaries to issue orders in consequence of the Cabinet decision. When the two special secretaries openly and categorically refused to do so, the home minister was left with no option but to place them under suspension,” the letter read.
Citing the Central Civil Services (CCS) (Conduct) Rules, 1964, Sisodia also wrote that “when a government servant is given directions by his official superior, he cannot refuse to act on them claiming that the direction did not match his best judgment. When minister of home issued categorical written instruction to special secretary, he could not have refused or failed to carry out those instructions.”
The home minister, he stated, issued the orders of suspension as the “superior controlling authority,” Sisodia wrote.
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“The MHA has acted surprisingly fast. While issuance of deemed suspension in case of red-handed arrest of S P Singh (IAS officer arrested for corruption) took about 15 days for the MHA, it took merely one day to declare the suspension of two special secretaries void,” he stated.
Sisodia said that a general order of the central government dated August 9, 1974, empowers all superior officers to suspend their subordinates.
The order, he stated, holds the field and it was ‘totally incorrect for the MHA to ignore that’.
As per the provisions of the CCS (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965, Sisodia wrote, “It is erroneous for the MHA to say that no authority other than appointing authority or disciplinary authority could place Group A DANICS under suspension… it is is also erroneous for the MHA to state that the suspension orders were without authority of law.”
“If interpretation of the MHA is taken as correct, it will lead to complete paralysis of the functioning of the government of NCT of Delhi. Such interpretation of rules would be prejudicial to the public interest and it will lead to widespread insubordination, anarchy and sabotage of functioning of a democratically elected government by the bureaucracy.”
Sisoida also stated that the communication of the MHA dated December 31, “is merely a letter and not an order of the President of India”.