Fresh tussle with LG as Kejriwal govt asks officers to take ministers’ nod before decision

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Putting restrictions on the city’s bureaucracy, the Delhi government today issued an order to all officers, including the chief secretary, directing them not to take any decision on their own without the approval of ministers concerned.

The standing order issued by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and PWD Minsiter Satyendra Jain said that views of the department on any issue cannot be communicated without the nod of the minister-in-charge.

Hours after the order was “leaked” in the media, Sisodia alleged the office of Lt Governor Anil Baijal was behind it.

According to the order, the chief secretary, all principal secretaries and secretaries “cannot take decision and issue any order at their level without the approval of ministers concerned”.

“No decision will be taken and no order will be passed by any Secretary/Principal Secretary/Chief Secretary without the approval of (the) minister-in-charge. Likewise, the views of the department on any issue shall not be communicated without the approval of (the) minister-in-charge,” it stated.

It also said that views from “another department will be sought only after seeking permission of the minister-in-charge concerned”.

The move may lead to a tussle between the Kejriwal government and the office of the Lt Governor who heads the bureacracy in the national capital.

In their order, the ministers also said that over the last few months, “there have been several instances when matters of urgent and great public importance were dealt behind the back of elected government”.

“The files were dealt (with) secretly by some bureaucrats keeping their minister and the CM in dark … The latest is the scholarship mess in the government of NCT of Delhi which adversely affected the academics of more than five lakh students. The files were dealt (with) secretly by some officers, who kept the minister in dark,” it stated.

A senior government official, who did not wish to be named, said the order will only lead to “chaos and create hurdles” in taking timely administrative decisions.

The AAP government and bureacracy have been at loggerheads on a range of issues in the past too.

DANICS officers had proceeded on mass leave to protest against the suspension of two officers in December 2015.

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