Manish Sisodia asks Lt Governor Anil Baijal to put lawyers’ recruitment process on hold

Sisodia, in the letter, asked why the LG had directed officers not to show any files to ministers. (Image: PTI)

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia today urged Lt Governor Anil Baijal to put on hold a recruitment process for lawyers being carried out by the services department, saying it suffers from legal infirmities. In his letter to Baijal, Sisodia, who also holds the services portfolio, alleged that officials had refused to show the file on the recruitment process to him, citing the LG’s orders. Sisodia, in the letter, asked why the LG had directed officers not to show any files to ministers. Sisodia’s letter comes just days after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to the LG, urging Baijal to send him the file on empowering heads of government hospitals to hire contractual staff.

Kejriwal had also alleged that officials had refused to show the file to him citing the LG’s orders. An official said that on September 14, the services department had issued a notice inviting applications for the posts of standing counsels and additional counsels despite the fact that the government already a set of such lawyers. “Their appointments were done by the Lt Governor after an elaborate process of advertisement, interviews and selection. These advocates cater to the needs of all Delhi government departments.

“Then why does the services department need a separate set of advocates?,” Sisodia said in the letter. The deputy chief minister also said he was all the “more shocked” because he was minister in-charge of services and he had completely been kept in the dark about the matter. In the letter, Sisodia alleged that when he called for the file, officers concerned refused to show it to him, saying the Lt Governor has directed them not to do so. “I understand that the whole process suffers from serious legal infirmities. I am told that the law department had strongly opposed this proposal. “Therefore, I would urge you (LG) to kindly put the process of recruitment on hold till I have seen the file and given my opinion,” the deputy chief minister said.

As per the August 4 Delhi High Court order last year, the Lt Governor is the administrative head of Delhi. Land, law and order and services directly come under the control of the LG. The law department had opposed the services department’s proposal, saying, “The proposal of the services department is not in consonance with the aforesaid (laid down rules) statutory position.”

“Therefore the services department may be informed to reconsider their proposal in the light of above factual and statutory position. Being a matter of policy, the law minister may also like to see (the proposal) for inputs if any.”

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