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Delhi Cabinet to seek MHA advice on LG powers

In a Cabinet meeting chaired by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the government has decided to seek the advice of Union Ministry of Home Affairs on the powers of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung in regard to declaring circulars and orders of an elected government “null and void” and to issue orders directly to its officers. The Cabinet also decided to hold the implementation of the grant of a grade pay and time-bound grant of scales for DANICS officers till the MHA ratifies the decision.

“The government will seek the MHA advice on issues including under which law LG issued instructions directly to officers of Delhi government and under which rule he can issue instructions to an elected government. It has also been decided to ask the MHA under which powers the LG declares the circulars and orders of an elected government “null and void” and send notes to a democratically elected government,” said spokesperson of Delhi government informing the Cabinet decision on Monday.

The Cabinet meeting was called by the Chief Minister to discuss on the note received from the office of the LG recently in which he had warned officers of Delhi government not to follow “unconstitutional” orders. 

The Cabinet also decided to request the MHA to take a final call soon on the DANICS officers’ salary revision, since it has been pending for more than a decade.

Regarding the controversy on the issue of the Commission of Inquiry to probe the CNG fitness scam, the Cabinet noted that this matter is already pending before the Delhi high court and all concerned parties must respect the court of law.

It’s important to mention here that LG’s controversial powers to interfere in the functioning of the city government through direct orders to officers, without taking concerned minister or elected government into confidence, has been the bone of contention between the state and Central governments since Kejriwal came to power in February this year.

The first such incident came to light when Jung directly issued orders to the then Secretary of Department of Services to appoint senior IAS officer Shakuntala Gamblin as the acting Chief Secretary of Delhi. Since then, LG has passed several such orders like appointing M K Meena as ACB chief, declaring the transfer of several IAS officers as ab-initio-void, and appointing special prosecution officers to represent the LG in the courts.
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