Two senior civil service officers of the Home Department have been suspended by the Aam Aadmi Party government for refusing to sign on a Cabinet decision file, following which around 200 Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands-cadre officers have threatened to go on mass leave on Thursday in solidarity.
Yashpal Garg, special secretary (prosecution), and Subhash Chandra, special secretary (prisons), have been suspended, a Delhi government spokesperson said on Wednesday.
The action, threatening to blow into another AAP-Centre confrontation, was taken after Garg and Chandra refused to sign a file pertaining to the Cabinet decision to increase salary of public prosecutors, the spokesperson said.
DANICS are selected through civil servic exams conducted by Union Public Service Commission.
Officers of the service are recruited directly through the Civil Services Examination and are responsible for the diverse administrative functions of the National Capital, Delhi and the UnionTerritories.
Supporting the DANICS Officers’ Association’s move to go on mass leave, Indian Administrative Services Officers have also threatened to go on a half-day leave on Thursday.
There are around 70 IAS officers working in different departments of the national capital.
“IAS officers will also go on a half-day leave on Thursday supporting the DANICS officers Association. There was a joint meeting of IAS and DANICS officers on Wednesday wherein a resolution was passed against the suspension of two DANICS officers working the Home Department,” said an IAS officer who works with the Delhi government.
The Kejriwal government’s decision may lead to fresh tussle with the Centre as only the Delhi Lt Governor can suspend DANICS-cadre officers with permission from the Union home ministry.
If DANICS-cadre officers in Delhi go on mass leave, preparations for the odd-even scheme, which will come into force on January 1, may be affected as most of these officers are looking after the projects pertaining to the road-rationing plan.
The DANICS Officers’ Association comprises around 200 members who hold crucial posts including that of sub-divisional magistrate, secretary to minister and special secretary.
“The Delhi government does not have power to suspend any DANICS officer and it can only recommend suspension of DANICS officer and on this, LG can suspend him or her with permission from the MHA. To express solidarity with the two suspended officers, around 200 DANICS officers, who are working in the government’s different departments, will go on leave tomorrow for one day,” a representative of the association said.
It has apprised the Union home minister of the development.
It also demanded that the Delhi government revoke the suspension.
Reacting to DANICS officers’ Association’s move, the government spokesperson said, “We have not got any official communication from the association. If they want to go on leave, they can do so.”
Recently, the Arvind Kejriwal had suspended three transport department officials, including a DANICS-cadre officer, for alleged ‘wrongdoings’ in issuing letter of intents to auto drivers at Burari Transport Authority.
Earlier this month, Kejriwal had also suspended two sub-divisional magistrates for failing to provide instant relief to victims whose jhuggis were demolished by Railways in West Delhi’s Shakur Basti area.
However, these two SDMs are still holding their posts and doing their work.