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Posted at: Jul 12, 2018, 9:24 PM; last updated: Jul 12, 2018, 10:24 PM (IST)

Delhi govt lawyers' panels restored: Kejriwal

Ananya Panda

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 12

Nearly two months after Lieutenant- Governor Anil Baijal's invalidation, the empanelment of 13 lawyers by the Delhi government to represent its cases in the High Court and Supreme Court was on Thursday restored by the government.

"LG had cancelled Del govt's panels of advocates in HC and SC due to which Del govt's cases in these courts were suffering. Today, Del govt restored both panels," tweeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

In May third week, Baijal's office had scrapped the two orders (dated November 29, 2017 and January 18, 2018) issued by the Kejriwal government citing procedural lapses. The move prompted peeved Kejriwal to slam Baijal asking him to do "some constructive work instead of stalling every project of the Delhi government".

Referring to Section 44 (2) and 44(3) of the GNCTD Act, Baijal's principal secretary Vijay Kumar had written to Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash that the two orders then in question were "invalid" as they were issued without the LG's approval.

Thereafter Prakash communicated the same to all principal secretaries and secretaries leading to the cancellation of the orders.

Meanwhile, Lt Governor Anil Baijal today met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and is understood to have discussed the services issue among other matters related to the national capital arising the backdrop of the SC ruling. Yesterday Kejriwal had called on Singh to assert his government's claim of having a say on bureaucratic postings and transfers.

Projects take off, but politics continues

Amid the Aam Aadmi Party government's fast paced work and clearance of proposals that had previously fallen prey to its frequent run-ins with Centre and Lt Governor Anil Baijal, following the Supreme Court's relief the Kejriwal-led government is not missing out a single opportunity of "politics" in view of its ongoing dispute on services.

More so Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today assured representatives of the Delhi Administration Subordinate Services (DASS) of implementing the restructuring of their services once his government wins the "power battle" on services which is currently being controlled by the LG despite the SC orders.

"Over the last three years powers from the elected government of Delhi have been snatched away in many ways due to politics and the government has not been able to implement many things.

"The Delhi government has special sympathy towards the DASS cadre and when we had services with us, minister Satyendar Jain actively worked on the issue and got the restricting proposal passed by the cabinet. But the High Court gave its order and we lost control on services.... We are trying our best and once we have the services with us we will be able to address your concerns," said Kejriwal asking them to wait till them while addressing the delegation.

The AAP chief said he is not a politician and nor does he know how to practise politics before he lauded his government's work in health, education and electricity other areas in the last three years.

"It is not easy to make improvements in a short span of time. Whatever has been achieved... it has been done by officers and employees of the Delhi government," said Kejriwal noting that the current government has the intent to work for people, something he indicated was missing earlier.

"The strides of the government in Delhi are being praised in the country and abroad because you have made it possible," said Kejriwal.

The restructuring of DASS cadre- a long-pending demand of the section that will bring parity in promotions, among others, between senior employees of DASS and DANICS officers- was recommended by a three-member panel chaired by IAS officer S N Sahai, but is still to be put into action.

The delegation of DASS employees, led by president D N Singh, requested the CM to accept the report claiming LG Baijal as advised by Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash is sending the report to Ministry of Home Affairs for examination.

In March, the Delhi Assembly had passed a resolution seeking an amendment of the DASS Rules, 1967 and steno cadres sending it to the services department to be done within a month. The Kejriwal government urged the LG to ensure it is implemented soon, but the matter remains stuck, primarily due to the opposition of the DANICS officers.

The Delhi government would soon call a meeting of all resident welfare associations and market associations of the national capital to discuss and finalise the modalities of installing CCTV cameras across the city, said Kejriwal.

Interestingly, the move came a day after the Delhi chief minister made a noise about LG-appointed panel on the CCTV cameras recommending mandatory permission to be obtained by all private and government bodies from the police for installing cameras in the city.

It is worth mentioning that the LG's directives pertaining to the CCTV cameras project become infructuous in view of the July 4 SC ruling.

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