Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung on Tuesday declared the appointment of IPS officer JK Sharma as the city’s director general of prisons “null and void” because the Arvind Kejriwal government did not seek his approval before taking the step.
An order by additional secretary (home) OP Mishra stated that Sharma, a 1982-batch Indian Police Service officer who serves as the city director general (home guards), will hold the additional charge of DG (prisons).
It is mandatory for the transfer and posting of IPS and Indian Administrative Services officers to be cleared by the L-G, said sources.
“The order giving additional charge is non-est (does not exist) as it is bad in law. The order will not be implemented,” an official from the L-G’s office said.
The Union home ministry is the cadre-controlling authority for IPS and IAS officers, and any appointment — regular or additional charge — needs his approval, the official said.
The L-G is the representative of the Centre in Delhi, which has a unique status, as the police and services are controlled by the Union government.
The Delhi government spokesperson could not be reached for comment. Officials in the Union home ministry wanted to see the order before offering comment.
The post of DG (prisons) fell vacant after Alok Verma was promoted the Delhi Police commissioner on February 29.
During the day, the Supreme Court declined to entertain the Delhi government’s plea that wanted a larger bench of the high court to hear a bunch of petitions seeking clarity on L-G’s role in governance.
Appointments and transfers of officers have led to several rounds of bitter confrontation between the Aam Aadmi Party government and Jung. Many such cases are pending in the Delhi high court.
Matters had come to a head between the Delhi government and the lieutenant-governor in August last year, when Kejriwal directed ministers and senior Delhi government officials to refrain from sending files pertaining to police, public order and land to Jung’s office.
Later, Jung appointed senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as the acting chief secretary of the Delhi government, prompting the Kejriwal dispensation to term it as “unconstitutional”.
In December, the lieutenant-governor termed the state’s move to order an independent inquiry into alleged irregularities within the Delhi & District Cricket Association as legally invalid.
(With PTI inputs)