Kejriwal govt threatens Centre-backed Home Secy

The tit-for-tat fight between the Arvind Kejriwal government and the central government over posting of senior bureaucrats continues with the Delhi government threatening to take action against an official who is working as Home Secretary despite the city government giving his work to another official.

Two days ago, the Union Home Ministry indicated that it might proceed against the Delhi-government-appointed “Home Secretary” if he continues to create problems for the official posted as home secretary by Central government’s appointee and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

In a new twist, Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain has now warned of “disciplinary and administrative action” against Dharam Pal – appointed as Home Secretary by the LG with the Union government’s approval – if he continues to occupy the Home Secretary’s room on the fifth floor of the Delhi Secretariat.

“Dharam Pal has already been relieved by the Delhi government from the afternoon of June 9 and if he continues to occupy office in the secretariat, the same would be considered unauthorised occupation, and he would be liable for administrative as well as disciplinary action,” said a note by Jain.

The Aam Aadmi Party government on June 9 gave Rajendra Kumar, who is secretary to the chief minister, additional charge of the home department. However, this move to replace Dharam Pal was rejected by the Union government as “ab initio void”.

Later, Chief Secretary K K Sharma  wrote to Rajendra Kumar not to create any hindrance for Dharam Pal in discharging his duties as the home secretary.

Sharma, in his note to Rajendra Kumar, said the order divesting Dharam Pal of the charges of Home Secretary  and principal secretary (Land and Building) has been issued without the approval of the competent authority and was in contravention of the Union Home Ministry’s recent notification.

Warning letter
However, both Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Jain are insisting that the order issued to remove Dharam Pal is valid. The latest warning letter of Jain to Dharam Pal seems to be an attempt to assert the Delhi government’s stand on the issue.

Dharam Pal’s removal from home department was ordered by the AAP government after he signed a note appointing a new chief of the Anti-Corruption Bureau on Jung’s direction.

On Friday, the Union Home Ministry indicated that it may take disciplinary action against senior IAS officer Rajendra Kumar, who continues to hold the post of Home Secretary  in the Delhi government despite clear instruction to relinquish it.

Show cause notice
Official sources said a show cause notice will be served on Rajendra Kumar for disobeying the home ministry order to relieve the post of Delhi’s Home Secretary, which he took over following a Delhi government order.

Rajendra Kumar assumed the charge of Delhi Home Secretary after the city government shifted incumbent senior IAS officer Dharam Pal and placed him at the disposal of the Union Home Ministry.

The Union Home Ministry later revoked the decision of the Delhi government to repatriate its Dharam Pal to the Centre terming it “ab initio void” and asserted that powers to transfer Arunachal Pradesh–Goa–Mizoram–Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre officers rests only with the Centre.

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