Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung had ‘taken away’ the powers of the chief minister and his ministers to appoint even peons and clerks.
Referring to an August 9 order of the L-G, Sisodia said he had requested Jung not to transfer government’s two top officials — PWD secretary Sarvagya Srivastava and health secretary Tarun Seem — as they were looking after the government’s ambitious projects, including setting up of mohalla clinics and construction of new school buildings.
The L-G office, however, clarified that the order was restricted to the transfer and postings of IAS, DANICS officers. The officials said the L-G ordered reconstitution of the Civil Services Board, headed by the chief secretary, to ensure ‘transparency’ in all bureaucratic reshuffle in future.
“After this order, an elected chief minister and ministers don’t have the power to appoint even their peons and clerks. The high court order made it clear that services come under the L-G. I met the L-G today (Friday) and requested him not to remove PWD and health secretaries. We had introduced an experiment of appointing specialists to these posts. Both officers are engaged in projects like mohalla clinics and new school buildings,” Sisodia told reporters.
“We will deliver on our promises to people of Delhi within the restricted powers. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal requested all ministers that even if they are required to work for 48 hours, people’s works should not be affected,” he said.
In his August order, Jung said, “All services matters, including transfers/postings of IAS/DANICS officers, with the recommendations of Civil Services Board in case of IAS officers, will be placed through chief secretary, Delhi, directly before Lt Governor for his consideration and orders.”
Rejecting the Delhi government’s claim that ministers don’t have the power to appoint peons and clerks, the L-G office said the Jung had reconstituted ‘Civil Services Board’ on August 9 to look into transfer and postings of IAS and (Delhi, Andaman Nicobar Island Civil Services) officers.
“The order to constitute the Civil Services Board to be headed by the chief secretary was endorsed by the deputy CM in the August 9 meeting with the L-G. There is no mention in the order that ministers don’t have power to appoint their peons and clerks,” an official said.