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L-G violated Supreme Court orders by appointing education director: Manish Sisodia

L-G Anil Baijal has maintained that the Union home ministry advised him to keep exercising powers over “services” because the 2015 MHA notification remains valid.

delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2018 22:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Indo Asian News Service
Delhi power tussle,Delhi news,Manish Sisodia
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said that L-G Baijal’s move to appoint the education director was illegal.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday accused Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal of resorting to “dadagiri” (rule by force) by “arbitrarily” appointing officers in the government in what he said was a contravention of the Supreme Court’s judgement, even as the union territory’s AAP government approached the apex court seeking an early hearing to address various pending issues between it and the L-G.

Hours after Sisodia’s allegations, the Ministry of Home Affairs, through a notification, appointed two additional chief secretaries, a first for Delhi.

Principal secretary (home) Manoj Parida and Anindo Majumdar, both 1985-batch IAS officers were appointed to the post. While deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia did not comment on the development, a Delhi government officer explained on condition of anonymity that the appointment was “long due” and was made on the basis of ‘apex scale’ - the highest salary slab for the top bureaucrats.

Last week, a constitution bench of the court ruled that the elected government had primacy on all issues except land, police, and law and order, but was silent on the issue of services (the appointment and transfers of bureaucrats). That left other issues to be addressed by a two-member bench of the court.

Since then, both the AAP government and the L-G have dug in their heels, resulting in a stalemate.

On Tuesday, the L-G and chief secretary Anshu Prakash met Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba over the continuing tussle with the AAP government on matters related to services.

A bench led by Chief Justice DIpak Misra on Tuesday indicated the appeals would be listed next week after Delhi government lawyer Rahul Mehra sought an urgent hearing of the matters.

Sisodia’s remarks came a day after Baijal appointed three IAS officers, including a new education director.

According to a new order, Saumya Gupta has been replaced by Sanjay Goel as education department director. Similarly, Chanchal Yadav, who served as South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Deputy Commissioner has been shifted as special secretary to the L-G. Vasanthakumar N, has been made Special Commissioner (Trade and Taxes).

Criticising Baijal’s move, Sisodia said that the L-G made the appointment of education director without even consulting the government.

“L-G has kept the services department with him arbitrarily and is doing ‘dadagiri’. He should have consulted us before appointing the education director. It is violation of the SC order, which says the L-G and the government should work in coordination,” Sisodia told reporters.

The L-G’s office did not respond to calls and text messages seeking a response to Sisodia’s remarks.

Sisodia added that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government was spending 26% of its budget on education and has been working towards reforms in this sector yet the L-G did not think of taking the government’s advice on the matter.

First Published: Jul 10, 2018 17:55 IST