Delhi government on Thursday said that the strike call by the DANICS officers was a conspiracy adding that officers should have approached the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the L-G.
He said, “I told you in the morning that this was planned. Has IAS officers ever been on strike anywhere? Why dont they go for a one month leave rather than a day strike? Then we will show what good governance really looks like.”
His statement came after the government on Wednesday suspended two senior officials for refusing to sign some files, causing yet another potential showdown with the Lieutenant Governor and Centre.
Meanwhile, The Ministry of Home Affairs has declared the suspension of two DANICS-cadre officers by AAP government null and void, reports PTI.
As many as 200 bureaucrats from Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service cadre have threatened to go on mass leave on Thursday in protest against the government’s decision. The 70-odd IAS officers, who work in different departments of the national capital, have also threatened to go on a half-day leave on Thursday in solidarity with the DANICS.
According to a Delhi government spokesperson, the suspended officers are Yashpal Garg, special secretary (Prosecution), and Subhash Chandra, special secretary (Prisons).
The state government had asked the officers in question to sign the files pertaining to a cabinet decision to hike the Public Prosecutor’s salary. The officers refused arguing that the files ought to have gone to the LG office for approval first.
They recused themselves after the government insisted on getting the files signed with or without the LG’s approval prompting their suspension.
In a letter on 17 September, the LG Najeeb Jung had warned bureaucrats of serious consequences if they signed the files without his approval.
The letter said, “Government of India has taken note of the current constitutional position of Delhi and major instances of violations of the constitutions, laws and rules such changes in the pay structure of DANICS officers, constitution of the so-called Commission of Inquiry etc. Government of India has declared these decisions/orders of the GNCT of Delhi viz change in pay structure DANICS officers, constitution of Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the allegations regarding the award of work related to CNG Fitness Certificate as illegal and ab initio void.”
Not so long ago, the Arvind Kejriwal government had, suspended three transport department officials, including a DANICS-cadre officer, for alleged “wrongdoings”, and two sub-divisional magistrates, also DANICS-cadre officers.
A representative from the association said, “The Delhi government does not have power to suspend any DANICS officer and it can only recommend the suspension of DANICS officer and on this, LG can suspend him or her with permission from MHA.”
This latest showdown comes just a day before the government rolls out its ambitious odd-even formula.
A senior minister in Kejriwal cabinet, Satyendra Jain, is holding an emergency news conference at 8.45 am in the morning. He’s likely to defend the government’s decision providing more information on the suspension of two DANICS officers.