AAP govt advisers under L-G scanner

AAP govt advisers under L-G scanner

AAP govt advisers under L-G scanner
Over three dozen advisers and spokespersons appointed by the AAP government have come under the scanner of Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung who has now sought a report on their salaries from the chief secretary.

Sources said some officials in the L-G’s secretariat felt that steps should be taken to recover the salaries paid to these functionaries, who were “illegally” appointed by the Aam Aadmi Party government without the L-G’s approval. The Delhi government’s Law Department has also been asked to give its opinion on the propriety of the appointments.

Similar details on the appointment of advisers and spokespersons have also been sought from government-funded bodies like the Delhi Commission for Women and the Wakf Board.

Jung’s query on appointments comes close to his direction to Delhi government’s General Administration Department to provide details of all foreign tours undertaken by AAP ministers, their personal staff and other officials in the last 18 months.

The Opposition BJP had recently given a representation to Raj Niwas alleging that AAP sympathisers recruited in government departments were being illegally paid salaries ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh. In a direction to Chief Secretary K K Sharma, the L-G’s secretariat has cited a figure of 43 for appointments which are under a cloud.

“Some of the advisers appointed by the AAP government also enjoy benefits like a government house,” said an official. One of the queries sent to the chief secretary by Raj Niwas is on the criteria adopted during the selection of these 43 appointees. “A report on any similar practice during the previous government has also been sought by the Raj Niwas,” said the official.

The Education and Health departments are under special scrutiny as more than three advisers each have been appointed there, he said. The Law Department’s advice will determine if the money paid to the 43 appointees needs to be recovered from them and, if yes, through which mode, he said.

A Raj Niwas official said doubts arose about the legality of these appointments during the inspection of Delhi government files sent to Raj Niwas after the August 4 judgement of the Delhi High Court.

The court had held that the L-G was the administrative head of the Union Territory. On August 30, the L-G formed a three-member panel to review the decisions taken by the Arvind Kejriwal government in matters in which his approval was mandatory. The committee was also tasked to fix responsibility for any violations.
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