Published On: Mon, Mar 30th, 2020

2 Delhi govt officers suspended, 2 others served with show cause notices

New Delhi: The Centre on Sunday suspended two senior Delhi government officers and served show-cause notices on two others for “serious lapses” in duty during the ongoing lockdown.

Renu Sharma, Additional Chief Secretary (Transport) has been suspended.

A Home Ministry spokesperson said the two officers who have been suspended with immediate effect are: Additional Chief Secretary (Transport) Renu Sharma and Principal Secretary (Finance) Rajeev Verma, who also holds the post of divisional commissioner.

The two officers who have been served with show-cause notices are Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Land Buildings) Satya Gopal and SDM (Seelampur) Ajay Arora.

While Sharma, Verma and Gopal are senior IAS officers, Arora is reportedly an officer belonging to Delhi Andaman Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS).

The Central government has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the four officers for dereliction of duty regarding containment of the spread of COVID-19, the spokesperson said.

It has been brought to the notice of the competent authority that the officers, who were responsible to ensure strict compliance to the instructions issued by chairperson, National Executive Committee, formed under Disaster Management Act 2005, regarding containment of spread of COVID-19, have prima facie failed to do so, the spokesperson added.

The Union home secretary is the chairperson, National Executive Committee.

“These officers have failed to ensure public health and safety during the lockdown restrictions to combat COVID-19.

“Due to the serious lapse in performance of their duties, the competent authority has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the officers,” the spokesperson said.

In its order, the home ministry said Sharma and Verma “failed to maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty. It is also contemplated to initiate proceedings for imposition of major penalty against them.”

Both Sharma and Verma were asked by the ministry to not leave Delhi without the approval of the competent authority.

The lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in a bid to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.

The immediate cause of the action is not immediately known.

There have been large scale exodus of migrant workers from Delhi after the announcement of the lockdown.

The central government has repeatedly asked the State governments and Union Territory administrations to stop the exodus and provide the migrant workers food and shelter during the lockdown period.

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