CM Kejriwal gets his way, Sahai is new Home Secy
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seems to have the last laugh in the fight with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung as the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has finally agreed on the reversion of the controversial post of Delhi’s Home Secretary Dharampal and appointed Kejriwal’s trusted SN Sahai as the new Home Secretary of Delhi.
As this transfer too settled in his favour, the Chief Minister has succeeded in putting his stamp on ‘transfers and postings’ of all senior IAS officers working with the Delhi government.
“The order appointing <g data-gr-id="42">Sahai ,</g> a 1986 batch IAS officer of Union Territory cadre, as the new Home Secretary of Delhi has been issued,” said a senior officer of the MHA which was also confirmed by Delhi government officers. <g data-gr-id="44">Pal</g> had to face the heat of Delhi government for issuing the order to appoint Joint Commissioner of Police MK Meena as Chief of the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) without consulting Delhi’s Home Minister Satyendra Kumar Jain. Anguished with the appointment of Meena, Aam Aadmi Party government ordered ‘reversion’ of Pal to MHA and appointed Rajender Kumar as the Secretary of Home Department in two back to back orders on June 9.
The issue led to an exchange of letters between the Delhi government and the MHA in which officers of both the sides <g data-gr-id="45">threw</g> rule books at each other which resulted in a peculiar situation of two home secretaries in the Delhi government. Sahai, who is also holding the charges of Secretary Finance and Planning emerged as the consensus candidate between MHA and Kejriwal.
Kejriwal government had also challenged the appointment of Meena in the Delhi high court and even demanded to ban his entry into <g data-gr-id="39">ACB</g> but the court directed Meena to continue as the Chief of ACB. Delhi government then issued a new order confining the role of Meena which was annulled by the Lt Governor. According to sources, the Kejriwal government is not ready to compromise over ACB at loggerheads.
Interestingly, the tussle between Kejriwal and Lt Governor started with Sahai whom Delhi government had appointed as the acting Chief Secretary from February 28 to March 10 but Lt Governor issued show cause notice to him which came out in the open when LG appointed Shakuntala D Gamblin as Delhi’s acting Chief Secretary.
The AAP government then put Services and General Administration Secretary <g data-gr-id="28">Anindo</g> Majumdar in the waiting list while both his departments were given to Rajender Kumar, secretary to Chief Minister.
The Lieutenant Governor declared both the orders as ‘ad <g data-gr-id="36">initio</g> void’ citing the rules that his approval is <g data-gr-id="31">necessary in</g> transfer and posting of the officers of secretary and principal secretary level but the <g data-gr-id="37">Kejirwal</g> government refused to abide by.
This followed a gazette notification declaring that the MHA has all the powers in transfers and postings of IAS/IPS/DANICS and DANIPS officers rest with the Centre which is pending in the Delhi high court. Meanwhile, the Kejriwal government is using all the rights of transfers and postings of all the officers deployed with the Delhi government.