Kejriwal, LG at odds again: Tihar DG steps down after LG strikes down appointment
New Delhi: In yet another showdown between the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government and Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung, a senior IPS officer who was given additional charge as Director (Prisons) at Tihar jail has stepped down from the post.
The development came barely hours after J K Sharma, serving as the Director General – Home Guard, received an order from the Home department of the Delhi government on Tuesday. In a letter to the Home ministry, Delhi government, Sharma said he was returning the charge to the earlier officer as the appointment was not approved by the ‘competent authority’.
"Since the order referred above has not been issued with the approval of competent authority, hence the charge taken over by undersigned is hereby returned to the earlier officer who was holding the charge," Sharma wrote, adding that he would be happy to take over the post on the requisite approval.
Transfer and postings of gazette officers are matters governed by the L-G, who serves as the representative of the central government and is the constitutional head. Sharma’s appointment was signed by an Additional Secretary of the Home department, Delhi.
The post of DG, Tihar, was lying vacant since the appointment of Alok Kuma Verma as the Police Commissioner of Delhi. Verma occupied the post at Tihar prior to his elevation as top cop.
Hours after the Delhi government issued a circular announcing Sharma’s appointment as DG until further orders, the Raj Bhawan nullified the order saying it did not adhere to procedure.
The move could trigger another battle between Kejriwal and Jung over senior bureaucratic appointments in Delhi. The two have been at odds with each other since the appointment of Mukesh Meena as the Anti Corruption Bureau chief in June last year.
Kejriwal’s war with Jung is primarily related to the powers of the Delhi government. Issues of law and order, which fall under the central government, has also been at the heart of the conflict between the two sides.
The GNCTD Act mandates the approval of the L-G for the appointment of any IPS officer to any post in Delhi.