Atishi says chief secretary refused to follow govt order | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Atishi says chief secretary refused to follow govt order

Aug 24, 2023 11:19 PM IST

Chief secretary Naresh Kumar refused to follow orders pertaining to the implementation of a coordination mechanism to hold NCCSA meetings, she said

Delhi services minister Atishi on Thursday said that state chief secretary Naresh Kumar has refused to follow orders pertaining to the implementation of a coordination mechanism for the National Capital Civil Services Authority (NCCSA) — the latest move in a long-drawn tussle between the elected government and the bureaucracy in the national Capital.

Atishi holds both services and vigilance portfolios in the Delhi government. (HT Photo)
Atishi holds both services and vigilance portfolios in the Delhi government. (HT Photo)

“As the services and vigilance minister, I gave an order to the chief secretary, secretary (services), and secretary (vigilance) on August 16 for establishing a coordination mechanism for NCCSA, but in a 10-page letter addressed to me on August 21, the chief secretary mentioned the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill and stated that the elected government does not have the power to decide the issue. This means that today an unelected bureaucracy is deciding in Delhi how this city will run. This will now impact the development work being carried out for the people of Delhi and will bring them to a halt. We tried creating a coordination mechanism for NCCSA, but the chief secretary has refused to accept it,” Atishi said at a press briefing held at Delhi Secretariat.

Chief secretary Kumar did not comment on Atishi’s remarks. However, a senior government official familiar with the matter said the minister was trying to trying to capture executive powers, which are not vested in her. The official added that the minister (Atishi) is trying to dictate matters at NCCSA, which is headed by the chief minister.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2023 puts the control over bureaucrats in Delhi in the hands of the central government. The Act constitutes NCCSA with the chief minister as its head and the chief secretary and principal secretary (SSS) as the two other members of the top services body. According to the Act, NCCSA recommends the transfer and posting of the bureaucrats to the lieutenant governor. In case of a disagreement between the members, the LG has the final word.

Atishi said that the amendment in the GNCTD Act has given bureaucrats “the right to not implement the decision of the minister”.

She said the chief secretary’s refusal was just the beginning. “....in future the education secretary may refuse to implement the minister’s order to construct a new school, the health secretary may refuse to provide free medicines, the power secretary may refuse to provide free electricity subsidy. If the officers refuse to accept the decisions of the elected government by writing such letters, then democracy and the constitution will have no meaning,” said Atishi

“If the chief secretary is not ready to implement the coordination mechanism mooted by the government, how will this authority (NCCSA) function?” added Atishi, adding that the chief secretary’s letter is a big blow to democracy.

In response, the official quoted above said, “It seems that the minister (Atishi) is trying to capture executive powers, which are not vested upon her, as per the provisions of the Constitution (i.e. Article 239AA) as well as the law made by the Parliament , the GNCTD Act 1991. This is being done when Supreme Court has refused to stay the provisions of the GNCTD Amendment Ordinance 2023 (which has now been replaced by the GNCTD Amendment Act 2023).”

The official said the minister did not have the mandate to take decisions related to NCCSA.

“This ultimately shows that such public statements are being made as attempt to indicate authority by minister (Atishi) in areas of services and vigilance, where she does not have any executive powers,” the official added.

The minister, however, said that she will send the same order to the chief secretary again.

To be sure, the NCCSA meeting is pending for a long time. The last scheduled meeting of the authority was on July 28, but it was postponed by the chief minister after the Union Cabinet brought the Bill to amend the GNCTD Act. “No date has been fixed to hold the next NCCSA meeting. The authority is yet consider several important issues including the posting of several officers who have been transferred to Delhi from other states,” said a Delhi government official.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!

Stay updated with all top Cities including, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and more across India. Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, July 14, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On