Fresh conflict between Kejriwal and bureaucrats: AAP minister warns officials against taking orders without ministers’ approval

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New Delhi | Published: August 18, 2018 1:13:21 PM

A Delhi minister has issued an order asking bureaucrats not to communicate the views of respective departments without seeking clearances of the concerned ministers.

Arvind Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi government, Kejriwal vs bureaucrats, Rajendra Pal GautamFresh conflict between Kejriwal and bureaucrats: AAP minister warns officials against taking orders without ministers’ approval

A Delhi minister has issued an order asking bureaucrats not to communicate the views of respective departments without seeking clearances of the concerned ministers. A report in The Indian Express said that bureaucrats have been secretly handling files and thus keeping the ministers including CM Arvind Kejriwal ‘in dark’.

In his July 25 order, Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam also warned the Chief Secretary and other top officials of the Delhi government against taking any decision without seeking approval of the ministers. Besides, Gautam has asked officials to seek an opinion of other departments on any matter only after obtaining prior approval of their concerned ministers.

According to the IE report, the July 25 order was followed up by a reminder on July 31. The second order was issued after it was noticed that various heads of departments were not abiding by the directions.

The July 25 order also comes with a series of directions for the officials. It clearly says that “no decision will be taken and no order will be passed by any secretary/principal secretary/chief secretary without the approval of minister-in-charge.”

“In the last few months, there have been several instances when matters of urgent and great public importance were dealt behind the back of the elected government. The files were dealt secretly by some bureaucrats, keeping their minister and the CM in dark,” states the July 25 order, issued under Rule 15 of Transaction of Business Rules (TBR).

The order while citing Rule 21 of TBR, also asked officials that all communications received from the Centre including the PM and Ministers, be submitted to CM and Minister as soon as possible. “This rule is not being followed properly,” it noted.

“It has also been observed that some of the officers are openly flouting the orders/directions of ministers… All officers are directed to comply with the orders/directions of their respective official superiors. Any deviation would be treated as subordination and dealt with accordingly,” it adds.

The second order dated July 31 states that “all concerned are once again directed to scrupulously follow the directions conveyed vide the aforesaid standing order dated 25.07.2018. Stern action shall be initiated against the officers for non-compliance.”

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi has been trying to assert its primacy in the administrative affairs since July 4 order of the Supreme Court which said that “both the LG and the CM are constitutional functionaries and must work harmoniously with mutual respect and none of them should feel superior to the other”.

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