Lt Governor Anil Baijal has directed secretaries and principal secretaries of the Delhi government to authenticate all orders to be executed in the name of L-G, failing which, strict action, including recovery of financial loss caused to the exchequer, would be taken against them, a written communication by Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash to all bureaucrats stated. The move implies that the an order to be issued in pursuance of decision taken by the AAP government in the name of Lt Governor will have to be authenticated by the officer concerned, a senior officer said.
In the past, the L-G office and the Arvind Kejriwal government have been at loggerheads over a range of issues and decisions, including transfer and postings of officers. In the communication to all heads of departments and secretaries to Delhi ministers, earlier this month, Prakash said, “To have legal validity, all executive decisions have to be taken by the authority competent to take such decisions, and orders issued in pursuance thereof have to be authenticated by an officer authorised to do so under the Government of NCT of Delhi (Authentication of Orders and other Instruments) (Amendments) Rules, 1992 as amended in the year 2000.”
It also states, “The L-G has directed that any officer, who disregards the provisions of law/rules shall do so at his own risk and will be liable for appropriate action by the competent authority, including disciplinary proceedings and recovery of financial loss to the the government exchequer as a result of his/her action.” The amendments (made in 2000) in Authentication of Orders and Other Instruments Rule 1992, states, “Orders and other instruments made and executed in the name of Lt Governor shall be authenticated in such manner as may be specified in rules to be made by the Lt Governor and the validity of an order or instrument which is so authenticated shall not be called in question.”
In 2016, the Delhi High Court had stamped the primacy of Lt Governor in the city administration. The government has challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court. Recently, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that he hoped that the apex court, which is seized of the matter regarding the administrative control over Delhi, would deliver its judgement in his government’s favour.