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AAP government plans to ask Home Secy Dharam Pal to vacate office

PTI 14 Jun 2015, 23:28:41 IST

New Delhi: Hardening its position, Delhi government is planning to ask Lt Governor-appointed Home Secretary Dharam Pal to immediately relinquish his post and vacate his office and threatened to take action if he does not follow the order.
Sources said that Delhi Home Minister Satyender Jain has written a letter, which may be sent to Dharam Pal tomorrow, in this regard.

In the letter, Jain has said that Pal must vacate his office on the fifth floor of Delhi Secretariat as he was “unauthorisedly” occupying it, they said.  When contacted, Pal said he will continue as Home Secretary and will not vacate his office.  

“I will sit in my office on Monday and continue as Home Secretary because my appointment, which is constitutional, has been made by the LG,” he told PTI.

Four days back, Pal was firmly told by AAP government to obey its order transferring him to the Centre, even though the Union Home Ministry threw its weight behind him and asked him to continue in the position.

According to the sources, Jain in the letter has said that Pal had been relieved by the government on June 9 and if he continued to occupy office in the secretariat, it would be considered as unauthorized occupation and that government would take disciplinary action in the matter.  

The AAP government recently removed Pal as Home Secretary for notifying the appointment of M K Meena as chief of Delhi's Anti Corruption Branch which was done on the orders of Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has strongly opposed Meena'a appointment as ACB chief superseding his hand picked officer S S Yadav.

The Home Ministry had last week told Delhi Chief Secretary K K Sharma to ensure that Pal continues as Delhi's Home Secretary.

Following the Home Ministry's order, the Chief Secretary had asked senior IAS officer Rajendra Kumar, appointed as Home Secretary in place of Pal, to not continue in that post and allow Pal to work without any hindrance.  

However, AAP government has been routing all files related to Home Department through Kumar, who was also Secretary to Kejriwal, maintaining that he is the Home Secretary.The LG later reinstated Pal, saying the AAP government's decision to remove him was unconstitutional.  

The Union Home Ministry also revoked the decision of Delhi government to repatriate its Principal Secretary (Home) and (Land and Buildings) Dharam Pal to the Centre terming it ab initio void and asserted that powers to transfer AGMUT cadre officers rests only with the Centre. 

The Ministry also cancelled the appointment of Ashwani Kumar, Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre IAS of 1992 batch, as new Secretary (Land and Building) in the Delhi Government.