Published On: Fri, May 15th, 2015

Open war between Jung and Arvind Kejriwal on appointment of acting Chief Secretary

New Delhi: In a bitter face-off, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today appointed senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary of the city government notwithstanding strong reservations by the Kejriwal dispensation which termed the decision as “unconstitutional”.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung  and Chief Minister  Arvind Kejriwal

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

The Lt Governor gave the additional charge of Chief Secretary to Gamlin, a 1984-batch IAS officer, hours after she wrote a scathing letter to Jung claiming that she was pressured by a senior bureaucrat in CM’s office to withdraw from the race for the post due to her alleged proximity to BSES discoms.

Chief Secretary K K Sharma has left for the US on a personal visit due to which the government had to appoint an acting Chief Secretary. Gamlin is currently serving as Power Secretary.

Slamming the move, the AAP government said the LG cannot bypass the elected government and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and that he acted against “the Constitution, GNCT of Delhi Act and the Transaction of Business Rules”.

Jung promptly rebutted the AAP government’s allegations saying under Article 239 AA of the Constitution of India, the the Lt Governor is the representative of State Authority in Delhi.

“The file for the posting of the officiating Chief Secretary was submitted to the Lt Governor on the evening of May 13 and was cleared immediately. He approved the name of Shakuntala Gamlin as against the name proposed by the Chief Minister considering she was senior and has a proven track record.

“The name proposed by the Chief Minister did not figure in the list of names submitted by the Services Department and the concerned officer has not even been given a posting by the Delhi government so far,” the LG office said in a statement.

It said there was nothing on file submitted to the Lt Governor that indicated that the government had anything against Gamlin and he “regrets” that “the name of a senior officer being brought in public domain in such a manner, that too a lady officer and one belonging to the North East”.

After Gamlin was given additional charge of Chief Secretary, the city government accused the LG of by-passing the Chief Minister and the elected government and said he does not have extraordinary power.

“The Lt Governor by-passed the elected Government, the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister (who also acts as the Minister in-charge of Services department). The Lt Governor does not have the extraordinary powers under the Constitution to bypass the elected Government and issue instructions directly to the Secretaries, whatever be the provocation,” the city government said in a statement.

It said Jung, in an “extraordinary manner”, issued instructions directly to the Secretary (Services) to give the additional charge of Chief Secretary to Gamlin.

The government said it had certain reservations about the conduct of Gamlin because of which it was hesitant to give the additional charge to her.

PTI

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