LG-Kejriwal tussle leaves babus baffled

Conflicting orders from both get on to their nerves

Officials of the Delhi government are getting crushed in the apparent power tussle between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung with some claiming that the conflicting orders on not sending and sending files to Raj Niwas are getting on their nerves.

“Frankly speaking, we follow the instructions that are issued to us. But the problem is that fresh instructions are being issued quite frequently,” said an official.

The AAP government wants to do some drastic things in the city administration and for this Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is striving too hard. “But we are the people who have been caught in the cross fire,” said a senior official.The government has already announced plans to introduce the Janlokpal bill in the Delhi Assembly session next month. “This again is likely to raise heat as the introduction of the bill would require the Lieutenant Governor’s approval,” said a law department official.

Sources said the frequent friction between the state government and the central government’s representative Jung and his subordinate agencies is taking a toll of administration in the city.

“A few senior officials have put in requests for sending them on central government deputation,” said an official, adding that the applications by two principal secretary level officials were filed before the recent order by Jung over sending files to Raj Niwas. 

An official said Rule 57 of the TBR 1993 puts the onus on the Chief Secretary for following the Constitutional scheme on the movement of files. Any lapse may also invite a personal reprimand.

While overturning Kejriwal’s April 29 direction to officials not to send routine files to Jung, the Lieutenant Governor on Sunday referred to the Constitution, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act, 1991 and Transaction of Business Rules (TBR) 1993, Jung said the role of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers is to aid and advise him.

According to former secretary of Delhi Assembly S K Sharma, Jung is well within his rights to correct Kejriwal’s wrong orders.

“The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is much stronger than governors in other states. Constitution’s Article 239 AB empowers the LG to send a report or allows the president to impose president’s rule if the administration as per the constitution becomes difficult,” said Sharma.  According to the Rule 14 of the TBR, no Delhi Cabinet decision can be implemented till the time the LG is informed about it, Sharma said.

Rule 15 mandates that all cabinet ministers need to send a copy of their decisions related to their departments, he said.

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