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Posted at: Jul 13, 2018, 12:07 AM; last updated: Jul 13, 2018, 12:07 AM (IST)

Govt lawyers’ panel invalidated by LG, restored: Kejriwal

Ananya Panda

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 12

Nearly two months after LG Anil Baijal’s invalidation, the Delhi government today restored the empanelment of 13 lawyers representing its cases in the High Court (HC) and the Supreme Court (SC).

“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 CM 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 government”.

Referring to Section 44 (2) and 44(3) of the GNCTD Act, Baijal’s principal secretary Vijay Kumar had written to Chief Secretary (CS) 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.

Projects take off, but politics continue

Amid the AAP government’s fast-paced work and clearance of proposals that had previously fallen prey to its frequent run-ins with Centre and Baijal, following the SC’s relief, the Kejriwal-led government is not missing out a single opportunity of “politics” in view of its ongoing dispute on services.

Kejriwal today assured representatives of the Delhi Administration Subordinate Services (DASS) to restructure their services once his government wins the “power battle” on services which is currently being controlled by the LG despite the SC orders.

“The government has special sympathy towards the DASS cadre and when we had services with us, minister Satyendar Jain actively worked on issue and got the restricting proposal passed by the cabinet. But the HC 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, who claimed that he is not a politician and nor does he know how to practice politics; followed by lauding his government’s work in health, education, electricity and 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 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 SN Sahai, but is still to be put into action.

The delegation of DASS employees, led by president DN Singh, requested Kejriwal to accept the report claiming Baijal as advised by the CS is sending the report to Ministry of Home Affairs for examination.

In March, the 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 government would soon call a meeting of all RWAs and market associations to discuss and finalise the modalities of installing CCTV cameras across the city, said Kejriwal.

Interestingly, the move came a day after the CM 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.

LG today met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and is understood to have discussed the services issue among other matters related to the capital arising the backdrop of the SC ruling.


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