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' Jung' over naming acting chief secy.

THE ongoing confrontation between AAP- led Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung intensified with the latter appointing senior IAS officer Shakuntala Gamlin as the acting chief secretary of the Delhi government.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the L- G's move was unconstitutional.

The government had expressed its reservations against 1984- batch officer Gamlin, saying she was "very close" to the private discoms in Delhi.

The L- G gave the additional charge of chief secretary to Gamlin, hours after she wrote a scathing letter to Jung claiming that she was pressurised by the Chief Minister's office to withdraw her candidature for the post. Gamlin had accused Rajendra Kumar, secretary to the chief minister, of making a telephone call and asking her not to be in the race for the post. She also accused the AAP government of casting aspersions on her integrity to service and levelling false charges.

K. K Sharma on leave The need for appointing the acting chief secretary had arisen after Delhi Chief Secretary K. K. Sharma left for the US on a personal visit. Sources said senior bureaucrats Naini Jayaseelan, Arvind Ray and S. P. Singh were in the race for acting chief secretary's post.

Slamming the move, the AAP government said the L- G cannot bypass the elected government and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and that he acted against the Constitution, the Government of National Capital Territory ( GNCT) of Delhi Act and the Transaction of Business Rules. However, according to the L- G's office, the Lieutenant Governor being the head of the government was well within his rights to make the appointments.

After the services secretary issued an order giving Gamlin the additional charge following instructions by Jung, the Delhi government accused the L- G of bypassing the chief minister and the elected government and said he does not have extraordinary power.

"The Lieutenant Governor bypassed the elected government, the chief minister and deputy chief minister ( who also acts as the minister incharge of services department).

The Lieutenant 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 Delhi 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. "She was perceived to be extremely close to electricity companies in Delhi and was lobbying for their interests within the government. However, the Lieutenant Governor, in a completely unconstitutional manner appointed Shakuntala Gamlin to this position," the government said.

Recently, Kejriwal had asked all departments not to route files through the L- G's office.

To this, L- G Najeeb Jung had strictly directed ministers and officials of Delhi government to refer to him all files on various issues as is stipulated under the Constitution, GNCTD Act and Transaction of Business Rules.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:May 16, 2015
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