Directed officials to route files in accordance with rules.
New Delhi: A week before putting in his papers, former lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung had given a major breather to the city ministers by directing officers that all files should be handled and routed properly and they should not be encouraged to bypass their minister concerned in line with the Transaction of Business Rules of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991. This fact comes to light in an order issued by city minister Satyendar Jain only a day after Mr Jung submitted his resignation letter.
It was only after the Delhi high court had ruled that the L-G was the administrative head of the national capital, Raj Niwas directed all the officers to submit files related to policies and decisions of the AAP government to the L-G’s office. Even repeated reminders were sent to officers by Raj Niwas to fast-track the process so that the AAP government’s decisions, which had been taken without the L-G’s approval, could be reviewed immediately. The city ministers had raised serious concerns over the LG’s dictate, saying this was bound to affect the major works and day-to-day functioning of the administration.
Not only this. For the first time, newly-appointed chief secretary (CS) M.M. Kutty had also given clear directions to his officers to identify the “competent authority” for seeking sanctions on each file. This was primarily being done to ensure that either secretaries — principal secretaries or heads of departments — could give direct sanctions and wherever the need be, they could seek approvals either from the CS or the L-G. This way minister were not kept in loop in decision making by many bureaucrats.
Mr Jain himself raised these issues with Raj Niwas through a letter on December 13 stating that 16 files of the urban development department submitted to the L-G had been marked by his secretary directly to the CS, bypassing the minister-in-charge. The letter said that the CS and the principal secretary (UD) had also marked these files downwards in seriatim, without informing the minister about the decisions of the L-G in the concerned matters.
A copy of Mr Jain’s letter, which is in possession of this newspaper, said: “With-out prejudice to the provisos of sub-rule (1), the minister-in-charge of a department shall be primarily responsible for the disposal of the business pertaining to the department. The L-G may call for papers relating to any proposal or matter in any department and such requisition shall be complied with.”