Delhi govt urges L-G to clear transfer of Services Secy amidst delay
Bhardwaj claimed that since there was no communication from the L-G's office in the past two days, it prompted him to write a letter urgently requesting the clearance of the file
In a growing bureaucratic standoff, Delhi Services Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj on Friday expressed his displeasure over the lack of response from Lieutenant Governor (L-G) V.K. Saxena regarding the transfer of Services Secretary Ashish More.
Bhardwaj claimed that since there was no communication from the L-G's office in the past two days, it prompted him to write a letter urgently requesting the clearance of the file.
Highlighting the importance of the transfer, the Minister emphasized that the government intends to implement several significant changes, and the appointment of a new Services Secretary was a crucial step.
The matter was first raised by Bhardwaj on Thursday, and following the Civil Services Board (CSB) meeting held two days ago, the file was sent to L-G Saxena for final approval.
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With the delay in receiving a response, the Minister has now resorted to a formal letter, urging the L-G to promptly address the matter and expedite the clearance process.
"We had sent a proposal to change the Secretary (Services) two days back. After the order of Hon'ble Supreme Court, the elected government wishes to make several administrative changes for which change in Secretary (Services) is important. A lot of work is held up due to that," says the letter sent by Bhardwaj to the L-G on Friday.
"Constitution Benches of Hon'ble Supreme Court have said in their two judgments that Hon'ble LG should exercise power of difference of opinion in rarest of rare cases. Change in Secretary (Services) is a very routine matter and not a fit case for exercise of difference of opinion. (The) 2018 judgement of Hon'ble Supreme Court had said that files should not be sent to Hon'ble L-G for his approval, only decisions should be conveyed.
"However, GNCTD Amendment Act overturned SC judgement. Now, we have to send all routine files also to Hon'ble LG. This GNCTD Amendment Act is under challenge in Hon'ble Supreme Court. I sincerely urge you to kindly clear the file for change of Secretary (Services) soon," it added.
Earlier on Thursday, Bharadwaj had asserted his authority over the Services Department by instructing officials to seek his approval before issuing any orders.
The directive comes precisely one week after the Supreme Court granted executive control over services matters, excluding those pertaining to land, police, and public order, to the elected government.
In a clear display of his authority, Bharadwaj stated in an order: "In supersession of all previous directives, it is now mandated that no orders concerning any category of employees shall be issued by the chief secretary, secretary (services), or the services department without my explicit approval."