AAP's 'Put On Hold' Circular After Supreme Court Order On Delhi Lt Governor

Days after a Supreme Court's order giving it control over services, the Delhi government has asked its various departments to hold back action on directions of Lt Governor V K Saxena issued directly to them in recent months.

After the court's judgement, directions were issued on May 12 by ministers-in-charge to departments concerned asking them to strictly follow transaction of business rules (TBR) and desist from putting up files before them through the chief secretary.

Now, according to a circular issued on Monday by the Delhi government, the various departments have been asked to put on hold implementation of all the directions issued by the LG directly to them in the last few months.

Lt Governor Saxena has issued several directions directly to various departments through the chief secretary, "completely bypassing" the elected government, the circular said.

The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in its 2018 order and recent order on May 11 has clearly stated that the LG is bound by aid and advice of Council of Ministers on all subjects, including services, barring only three subjects -- land, public order and police, it said.

Therefore, direct orders of the LG to the departments are contrary to the Constitution and orders of the Supreme Court, it added.

The circular asked the department heads to provide a list of directions issued directly to them by the LG and take no further action on them till further instructions from the ministers-in-charge.

Prior to the top court's May 11 order, the services department was under executive control of the LG.

The government has also flagged that the provisions of TBR are not being followed and directed for its strict compliance.

It was also directed that the secretary of department concerned will present files directly before the minister-in-charge and not through the chief secretary.

"The secretary of the department will present files directly to the minister and not through the chief secretary in accordance with provisions of Rule 15.2 of the TBR," read an order issued last week.

The files related to the subjects mentioned in Rule 23 have to be sent to the LG through the chief secretary and chief minister. All such files should first be presented by the department secretary to the minister quoting the sub-rule of Rule 23 which is applicable, the order said.

"The minister will give his finding whether he agrees with the secretary. If he agrees with the secretary, the minister will note his approval and send the file back to the secretary. Finally, the secretary will send the file to the LG through chief secretary, minister and chief minister," it said.

It was also observed that the chief secretary was giving directions to officers directly. He does not have any powers under TBR to give any directions directly to any officer, it said.

If any such direction is received from the chief secretary, it should be presented before the minister for appropriate instructions. "Any violation will be viewed adversely," the order said.

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