Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung says CM's orders unconstitutional, cancels appointments

New Delhi: Stepping up offensive, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today termed as "unconstitutional" the orders by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking officers to put up files directly to Ministers, asserting that some directives by AAP regime have tended to "obfuscate" the special position that Delhi has as the national capital.

In a letter to Kejriwal, Jung also told him that all the appointments made by the AAP government without his approval in the last four days were not valid, insisting that he was the sole authority in matters of ordering transfer and posting of bureaucrats.

The assertion by the Lt Governor came as Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to allow the city government to function "independently" and accused the Centre of trying to run the Delhi administration through Jung.

In a statement, the LG's office said Raj Niwas has received copies of some orders and communications from the AAP government in the past few days which have "tended to obfuscate the special position that Delhi has, as the National Capital, which is significantly different from other states".

Jung called it a violation of the Constitution Kejriwal's order three days back to Principal Secretaries and Secretaries asking them to put up all files, through Ministers and directing that the orders of the LG to officers be first put up to the Ministers for decision.

"In a communication to the Chief Minister today, the Lt Governor has clarified the constitutional position wherein the Lt Governor is required under the Constitution and through the delegation of powers made to him by the President of India, to act in his executive capacity, in his discretion, in consultation with the Chief Minister where deemed necessary," the statement said.

Jung said Kejriwal had asked the bureaucrats to put up all files, including even those in which the Lt Governor has exclusive jurisdiction in his executive capacity, to the Ministers. "The order of the Chief Minister to officers is in violation of this basic distinction," it said.

In a directive on Monday, Kejriwal had asked the bureaucrats including the Chief Secretary to first consult him and other Ministers before acting directions from the LG. Yesterday, both Kejriwal and Jung had taken their bitter fight to President Pranab Mukherjee, accusing each other of violating the Constitution and overstepping their respective jurisdictions.

Jung also said an order issued by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on transfer of officials was not as per provisions of the Constitution. "It has been clarified by the Lt Governor to the Chief Minister that the order issued by the Deputy Chief Minister is fundamentally at variance with the Constitution since service matters are assigned to the Lt Governor under the powers delegated to him by the President.

"The Lt Governor alone is competent to approve transfer and posting of Pr. Secretary/Secretary level officers, in consultation with the Chief Minister. This is so prescribed under order no. F. 57/3/94-S.I dated April 4, 1994 which holds even today," the statement said.

The LG's office said it received a communication from Sisodia conveying that the order of the Lt Governor "invalidating" the removal of Anindo Majumdar as Principal Secretary (Services) and assigning the charge to Rajendra Kumar was purportedly not as per the Constitution and law and would not be acted upon.

"The Lt Governor has reiterated the Constitutional and Rule position to the Chief Minister and conveyed that the situation and procedure prior to the issue of the letter dated May 16 shall continue," the statement said.

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