NEW DELHI: The AAP government today said in the Delhi High Court that the bureaucrats who allegedly went on mass leave to protest against its decision to suspend two of its DANICS cadre officers in December 2015, had availed casual leave in their individual capacity.
The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, which was hearing a plea seeking action against bureaucrats who were on mass leave on December 29, 2015.
"The records do not conclude that IAS officers and DANICS officers has resorted to any illegal action by way of availing casual leave. It is apparent that the officers had availed casual leave in their individual capacity. It is quite natural that officers either take casual leave or earned leave during the year end subject to the availability of adequate credit of leave and it was nothing unusual.
"Further, on December 31, 2015, the leave taken by many officers was sanctioned by respective competent authority and under no circumstances grant of leave was denied/curtailed by the any authority," the counsel for the Delhi government submitted.
On December 31, 2015, around 200 DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service) officers had gone on mass leave after two senior civil service officers of the Delhi government's Home Department were suspended for refusing to sign on a cabinet decision file. 70 IAS officers had also gone
on half-day leave that day in solidarity with the agitators.
The Union Home Ministry had termed the suspension by the Delhi government as null and void.
The plea by one Indu Prakash Singh has said the Supreme Court had held that "public servants do not entertain legal right to strike" and, therefore the act was "illegal".
It has also said that the officers by going on mass leave had violated Central Civil Services Conduct Rules, which prohibited them from doing so.
However, the AAP government's department concerned in its affidavit said, "At no point of time any case of unauthorised absence from duty was reported. Action could have been taken by the respondent (government) only if there was any violation of conduct rules."