As the tension between the Delhi government and the Centre escalates over the appointment of Joint Commissioner of Police Mukesh Kumar Meena as the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) chief, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday, seeking his removal.
However, the Centre too toughened its stand, saying it stood by the Lt-Governor. A top home ministry official said since the ACB was a police station and was created after a notification issued by the Lt-Governor in 1993, there was a possibility of him withdrawing the notification, thereby scrapping the ACB.
The is the second time Kejriwal and Sisodia have met Singh within a month over the issue. Sources said the CM raised Meena’s appointment and the corruption allegations against him during the meeting. The duo requested Singh to remove Meena, sources said.
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The meeting comes a day after Sisodia told the House that Kejriwal had sent a secret note to the Union home minister, listing serious allegations against Meena. On Friday, AAP MLAs too waved copies of a complaint against Meena filed by a serving Delhi Police inspector, who alleged that an SHO ostensibly working with Meena was “pressuring” him to drop a case against an hawala operator.
Standing by the Lt-Governor, a top home ministry official said Kejriwal wanted to run the government only with “two-three bureaucrats of his choice”.
The official explained that as per Section 2 (b) of the Transactions of Business Rules, it was the L-G office, which had the powers to propose to the MHA, the appointment of secretaries of home, revenue, chief secretary of Delhi and commissioner of police, Delhi.
Presently, there are two home secretaries discharging function in the Delhi government. While Rajendra Kumar, a 1989-batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre was appointed as Delhi’s home secretary by Satyendra Jain, 1988-batch IAS officer Dharam Pal was appointed as secretary (home) by the L-G office.
MHA has refused to recognise Kumar’s post.
“As per constitutional provisions, it is the L-G’s office, which has the powers to appoint home secretary. Even then, honouring the elected government, it was decided to take their view. They see a conspiracy in everything and the chief minister wants to run the administration only with two-three bureaucrats of his choice. What about other officers?” the official said.
He added that since ACB was a police station and L-G was the head of police, it was his prerogative to appoint the ACB chief.
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