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Delhi Chief Secretary Calls Crucial Meeting Amid Services Controversy

Last Updated: May 16, 2023, 05:56 IST

In this January 16, 2023 photo, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and other AAP MLAs carry out a protest march to L-G VK Saxena’s office over his alleged interference in city governance. (PTI/File)

Services Secretary Ashish More was removed by the Delhi government from his post on May 11, hours after the Supreme Court order

Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar has convened a meeting of the Civil Services Board (CSB) on May 16 to consider the AAP government’s directions to transfer officers, including Services Secretary Ashish More, officials said on Monday.

It will be the first meeting of the CSB after a Supreme Court judgment placed the control of bureaucrats working with the Delhi government (excluding those related to police, public order, and land) under the elected government.

Earlier, transfers and postings of all Delhi government officers were decided by the Lieutenant Governor.

More was removed by the Delhi government from his post on May 11, hours after the Supreme Court order.

In an order, Services Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said the two other members of the CSB, being junior to the chief secretary, who chairs the board’s meeting, may be unable to “fearlessly” express their views and directed that a draft of the meeting be prepared in advance.

“CSB consists of two secretaries and is chaired by the Chief Secretary. The two secretaries are junior to the CS and are unable to express their views fearlessly in a physical meeting.

“Therefore, views of CSB members shall be taken in the following manner through circulation — after preparing the first draft, Secretary (Services) shall then send the file to the other member who will note down his comments. He will then send the file to CS,” the order read.

The chief secretary, after noting his comments, if needed, will present the file to the minister in charge (Bharadwaj) who will then take a final decision, it said.

Bharadwaj also said the chief secretary will not try to “influence” the preparation of the first draft or “influence” the other two members of the CSB in any manner.

Sources claimed that the order for More’s transfer was issued bypassing the CSB, which deals with matters related to the transfer of IAS officers.

Following Bharadwaj’s directions to transfer the officers and complying with the Supreme Court judgement, the chief secretary has convened the CSB meeting on Tuesday, the officials said.

Besides ordering More’s removal, Bharadwaj ordered that he be replaced by A K Singh. The transfer orders are yet to be implemented.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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