NEW DELHI: Refusing to budge from its position, Delhi government today decided to seek Union Home Ministry's advice relating to an order by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung warning city officials not to follow "illegal" orders of the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation.
A meeting of Delhi Cabinet, presided over by the Chief Minister, deliberated on the issue at length and decided to seek the Home Ministry's advice on whether Lt Governor can send such "notes" to a democratically-elected government. The meeting also discussed issues relating to probe into the CNG fitness scam by the Commission of Inquiry. The cabinet noted that the matter is already pending before the Delhi High Court and all parties concerned must respect the court of law.
"The government will seek the Home Ministry's advice on issues including under which law the the LG issued instructions directly to officers of Delhi government and under which rule the LG can issue instructions to an elected government," an official said. The directive by Jung last week warning Delhi government officials not to follow its "illegal" orders triggered a fresh round of confrontation between the two sides.
Kejriwal had already written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his intervention in dispelling confusion among the officers. In the order issued on September 17, Jung told all senior officers that they would face strict action if they follow the orders of the city government which were declared "null and void" by the Centre.
Angry over the LG's order, Kejriwal, in the letter, conveyed to Modi that Jung should not have issued such a directive which created confusion in the administration when it was battling to contain the dengue menace. The chief minister said Jung, in his order, stated that the Centre has directed him to issue the directive and that he cautioned them of salary cut and other strict action if they do not follow it.
The Union Home Ministry had declared a number of orders of the city government "null and void" including appointment of a Commission of Inquiry to probe the CNG fitness scam and cancellation of appointment of Anti Corruption Branch chief M K Meena. In his order Jung directed officials not to follow illegal orders of AAP government.
"Should any officer choose to do so, both disciplinary action for compliance of illegal orders, and recovery of financial loss caused to the government as a result of such action, would follow," the order said.
The LG and the AAP government have been on collision course on number of issues in the past few months.