Armed with the Supreme Court order that decisions of the Delhi government did not need the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor, the AAP government Wednesday sent a file to Secretary (Services), empowering Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to transfer and post senior officers. But within hours, a five-page note was sent to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the Services portfolio, expressing inability to carry out the order, sources said.
The note, sources said, cited a Ministry of Home Affairs notification of May 2015, and made it clear that until there were clear directions overturning the notification, the Services department could do little. “The MHA notification is in the name of the President and unless it is specifically overturned or quashed, it stands,” a senior officer said, claiming that Services, for now, remained with the office of the Lt Governor.
The note, AAP sources said, was received by Sisodia’s office hours after the file was sent to Secretary (Services).
Contacted by The Indian Express, Sisodia and Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash declined comment. Earlier in the day, following the court ruling, the Delhi cabinet introduced a new system for transfer and posting of officers. It said Sisodia would be responsible for the transfer and posting of Delhi Administrative Subordinate Services (DASS) Grade-I, II, Principal Secretary and Private Secretary-level officers.
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Until now, the Lt Governor was the approving authority for transfer and posting of IAS and DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services) officers.
The Delhi government and the officers have been locked in a war of words ever since Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash alleged he had been assaulted by two AAP MLAs in the presence of the Chief Minister. The cabinet also decided on fast-tracking two key projects — doorstep delivery of ration and installation of CCTV cameras — which the AAP said had been awaiting clearance from the Lt Governor.