Delhi government bureaucrats on Thursday went on mass leave to protest against the suspension of two DANICS-cadre officers even as the Union Home Ministry declared the suspension as null and void.
A day after two senior civil service officers of the Home Department were suspended by the AAP government for refusing to sign on a Cabinet decision file, around 200 DANICS officers went on mass leave while 70 IAS officers have gone on half-day leave, showing solidarity with the suspended officers.
The action was taken against Yashpal Garg, special secretary (Prosecution), and Subhash Chandra, after they refused to sign a file pertaining to the Cabinet decision to increase salary of public prosecutors. However, the Union Home Ministry termed the suspension as null and void.
Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) are selected through civil service exams conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Only the Delhi Lt Governor can suspend DANICS-cadre officers with permission from the Union Home Ministry.
Reacting to the protest, Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain said DANICS and IAS officers do not have the right to go on strike as it is against their service rule.
Unfazed by IAS and DANICS officers associations’ decision to skip work today, he said, “People will be happy if they go on strike. All system pertaining to governance is based online today and government will not suffer.”
The Delhi Home Minister further said that Delhi government was ready to grant all officers even one month or 15-day leave if they apply for the same.
“The two officers were suspended for not implementing Cabinet decision on December 28. If they had any problem with my order, they should have approached Chief Minister not LG.Lt Governor has already asked officers to defy government decision,” he charged.
“I know that by the evening, LG will declare the suspension of two officers by Delhi Government as null and void,” Jain said.
Jain said that if officers working in the Delhi government have any problem, they can get themselves transferred to the LG office, adding that government will not tolerate “disobedience”.
Jain also alleged that BJP is provoking Delhi Government officers to go on strike.
The DANICS Officers’ Association comprise around 200 members who hold crucial posts including that of SDM, Secretary to minister and special secretary.
“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 MHA,” a representative of the association said.
Earlier this month, Kejriwal had also suspended two sub-divisional magistrates for failing to provide instant relief to victims whose shanties were demolished by Railways in West Delhi’s Shakur Basti area. However, these two SDMs are still holding their posts and doing their work.