Centre annuls Delhi govt decision to repatriate babu

The Delhi government on Thursday bowed to the Centre in its latest confrontation on the issue of control of bureaucrats after the Home Ministry annulled its decision to repatriate Principal Secretary (Home) Dharam Pal.

The Delhi government had on Tuesday relieved Pal and put him at the disposal of the Home Ministry, while giving his assignments to IAS officers Rajender Kumar (Home) and Ashwani Kumar (Land).

The Home Ministry, however, on Wednesday termed the order illegal, forcing Chief Secretary K K Sharma on Thursday to ensure that Pal “continues to function as principal secretary (home) and principal secretary (land and building) without any disruption.”

The Home Ministry reversed the Delhi government order within 48 hours it divested Pal of his duties. The Arvind Kejriwal-led government is in a confrontation mode with the Centre and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over control of bureaucrats in Delhi administration.

With Jung issuing an order that Pal’s removal does not have his assent, the Delhi Secretariat witnessed a peculiar situation as both officers – Pal and Kumar – functioned as principal secretary (Home).

Sticking to his stand on his right to assign work to bureaucrats, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to the Union Home Ministry that he would not tolerate any interference in matters which are in his domain under the statute.

In a strongly worded letter on Thursday, Kejriwal reminded the central government that as the chief minister, the Government of National Capital Territory Act gave him the power to distribute work to bureaucrats.

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