Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena on Tuesday sent files related to services to the Delhi government, a few days after the Supreme Court granted control over services to elected government except those related to land, police and public order, officials aware of the matter said.
“The LG Secretariat, in compliance of the Supreme Court Constitution Bench Judgment dated 11.05.2023, has returned files pertaining to Services matters, back to the government for necessary action,” an official said, wishing not to be named.
Meanwhile, a Delhi government official alleged that the chief secretary and services secretary — whose removal was announced last week — “were creating hurdles”.
The files include proposals for extension of contractual tenures of staff in various Delhi government hospitals and acceptance of resignation of Group ‘A’ staff of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Hospital. “The files have been returned with the observation that the departments may be advised to take appropriate action/ further necessary action, in light of the SC judgment,” the above quoted official added.
The files related to services have been sent to the elected government after around 8 years. The Union home ministry in May 2015, through a notification, placed services under the preview of the Centre-appointed LG, taking away the power from the elected government in Delhi. The government had challenged the MHA notification in the Delhi high court, which refused to stay the direction. In August 2016, the AAP government moved the Supreme Court against the HC order. On May 11 this year, a Constitution bench of the top court ended the legal battle in favour of the government, ruling that “ if a democratically elected government is not allowed to control its officers and hold them to account then its responsibility towards the legislature and public is diluted”.
“We expect full cooperation from the LG and the central government. However, the chief secretary and the services secretary are still creating hurdles. The first transfer order for changing the services secretary, Ashish More, has not been implemented yet,” the government official said, requesting anonymity.