IAS officers, not Delhi assembly secretary, to be assistant returning officer for Prez polls
This is in departure from the past as, by convention, the Election Commission of India appoints secretaries and one more senior officer of legislative assemblies of all states, including NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry, as the assistant returning officers.delhi Updated: Jul 12, 2017 00:10 IST
Deputy commissioner of southwest district Abhishek Dev and not Delhi assembly secretary Prasanna Kumar Suryadevara will be the assistant returning officer for the Presidential election on July 17 (Monday).
This is in departure from the past as, by convention, the Election Commission of India appoints secretaries and one more senior officer of legislative assemblies of all states, including NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry, as the assistant returning officers.
However, the ECI this time has appointed two IAS officers — southwest deputy commissioner Abhishek Dev and west district deputy commissioner Shiv Kumar— as assistant returning officers, who would preside over the voting exercise in Delhi legislative assembly on July 17.
Dev would be the presiding officer as he is senior to Kumar, who would assist him and act as a backup, an ECI official said.
Sources said the decision was taken in view of the ‘ex-parte disciplinary proceedings’ initiated against Suryadevera by his parent cadre All India Radio (AIR) for ‘unauthorised absence’ after being told to join back and for writing an article — ‘Neither Office, Nor Profit’— in a newspaper on the office-of-profit issue related to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party legislators.
“The decision has been taken by the ECI on technical ground as his repatriation matter is sub-judice,” a senior ECI official said.
In April this year, Suryadevara moved the Delhi High Court urging that the ex-parte disciplinary proceedings initiated against him, for not joining AIR and for writing an article in a newspaper, be dropped.
Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had earlier moved the high court challenging former Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung’s order repatriating Suryadevara, an officer belonging to newsreader-cum-translator (Telugu) cadre, to AIR, his parent organisation.
The officer had to move court after a single judge, during the hearing of a petition moved by Goel, had said that the officer can file a separate plea if he is aggrieved by the disciplinary proceedings. The matter is pending in the high court.