New Delhi: Amid its bitter face-off with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, the AAP government tonight directed all its officials to apprise the Chief Minister or Minister concerned about any oral or written direction from the LG or his office before following them.
In a directive, the order signed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, said the bureaucrats including the Chief Secretary will have to first consult with the Chief Minister and other Ministers about any communication from the LG before acting on such directions.
Arvind Kejriwal. File pic
"To ensure smooth functioning of day-to-day affairs of our government in accordance with the Constitution of India, the Government of NCT of Delhi Act and Transaction of Business of the Delhi Government it is hereby ordered that any direction or order, whether oral or written, received from Honorable LG or his office to the Chief Secretary or any administrative Secretary, shall first be submitted by the concerned administrative Secretary/Chief Secretary on the file to the Minister incharge and the Chief Minister for a decision," the order said.
The order came amid deepening confrontation between Kejriwal and Jung over appointments of top bureaucrats in the Delhi government. Earlier in the day, the AAP government told the LG that it would not comply with his "unconstitutional" orders. Citing the rules under which Delhi is administered, the order mentions that it was the collective responsibility of the council of ministers for disposal of all business of the government.
Rule 4 of Transaction of Business Rule (TBR) makes abundantly clear that the minister in charge of a department shall be primarily responsible for disposal of the business pertaining to that department. Chapter IV and V of the TBR outlines the method for disposal of business relating to LG's executive functions and procedure to be followed in case of difference of opinion between LG and a minister/council of ministers, it said.
Pointing at the LG bypassing the rule, Kejriwal wrote that none of the three statutes authorise the LG to issue any order/direction to Chief Secretary or any administrative Secretary bypassing the minister in charge or council of ministers. "As you are aware the Chief Secretary and the Secretary of the department are severally responsible for the careful observance of the TBR under rule 57. Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary and heads of department are directed to strictly adhere to this order," the order further said.