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Tussle Brewing as AAP govt alleges center scuttled transfer of Delhi services secretary

A fight simmered between the Kejriwal government and the Center on Friday, with the AAP waiving accusing the central government of obstructing the transfer of the city’s services secretary, a day after the Supreme Court gave the Delhi government control over the transfer and posting of its officers.

The sources said the Delhi government is planning a major bureaucratic overhaul even though the implementation of its decision to transfer Department of Services Secretary Ashish More has hit a rough patch.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has again approached the Supreme Court, claiming that the Center was not implementing its decision to transfer Services Secretary Ashish More. India’s Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said he will constitute a court to hear the matter next week.

The Delhi government said in a statement that More has “refused” to consider the file for the appointment of a new official (AK Singh, IAS) to replace him. “Instead of picking up the file, he left the secretariat without informing the office of the minister of services,” the statement added.

Sources said More took an informal leave of absence on Friday.

The high court ruled on Thursday that the elected government in Delhi has legislative and executive powers over service department affairs, barring those related to land, police and public order which are still under the jurisdiction of the lieutenant governor.

More was removed from his position on Thursday, hours after the Supreme Court gave the AAP waiver control over the transfer and destination of officials in the city.

The sources assured that Moro has not yet been transferred since his removal from office was ordered against the established procedure.

“Although More’s transfer has not taken place, the AAP government is ready for large-scale transfers of senior officials, including many senior secretaries and heads of departments. This will happen as soon as the court decides the present case,” said a senior government source.

Shortly after the SC verdict on Thursday, Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal said a major shake-up of city government officials would take place in the coming days. He also warned that the officers who allegedly obstructed the works would “face the music.”

The sources claimed that the decision to transfer More was made without keeping the Delhi Civil Services Board (CSB) informed. In More’s case, the matter-of-fact-first rule was not followed, they said.

The CSB was chartered by the Delhi government in 2014 under the All India Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954.

The board is mandated to review the cases of officials it intends to transfer before the end of their minimum term and seek justification for doing so.

The sources also claimed that the decision to transfer More was made even as a notice from the Home Office (MHA) placing the services department under the jurisdiction of the LG had not yet been withdrawn in light of the Supreme Court order. Thursday.

The Delhi government said in its statement that to initiate a large-scale administrative reshuffle, Services Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj instructed More to submit a dossier for the transfer of a new officer to the post of Secretary of the Department of Services.

“Disturbingly, it has come to light that, possibly under the influence of the central government, the special secretary of the Department of Services sent a communication to the Minister of Services Bhardwaj, stating that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notification of 21 May 2015, it has not been set aside yet,” he said.

He did not initiate any file for the publication of a new official in the position of secretary of services, he said.

It has been brought to More’s attention that his “failure to comply with Supreme Court orders” could potentially be considered “contempt of court,” the Delhi government statement read.

“It is unfortunate that the central government and the lieutenant governor appear to be unwilling to adhere to the directives of the country’s highest court,” the Delhi government charged in its statement.

No reaction was immediately available from LG’s office on the AAP dispensation charges.

Meanwhile, in the Secretariat, the ministers held meetings with officials, taking stock of the situation and discussing pending government projects and programs. The prime minister also came to the Secretariat, the officials said.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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