In the wake of failure in disbursing scholarships to students of government schools, the Delhi government on Monday issued an order to its officials, including the chief secretary, directing them not to take any decision without the approval of the minister concerned or the chief minister.
The standing order has been issued by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Public Works Department minister Satyendar Jain.
Taking a stern stand, the Delhi government asked its bureaucrats not to deal with files secretly while also stating that any communication from the Centre should immediately be brought to the notice of the minister concerned. The order underlined that no further communication be made with any other department or ministry without the approval of the minister-in-charge of the department concerned.
What the order says?
"In the last few months, there have been several instances when matters of urgent and great public importance were dealt behind the back of the elected government. The files were dealt secretly by some bureaucrats keeping their minister and the chief minister in the dark," the official order read.
"No decision will be taken and no order will be passed by any secretary/principal secretary/chief secretary without the approval of (the) minister-in-charge. Likewise, the views of the department on any issue shall not be communicated without the approval of (the) minister-in-charge,” it stated.
Citing Rule (21) of Transaction of Business of Government of NCT of Delhi Rules 1993 (TBR), the order further stated, “All communications received from the central government (including those from the prime minister and other ministers of the central government, other than those of a routine or unimportant character) shall, as soon as possible after their receipt, be submitted by the secretary to the minister-in-charge, the chief minister and lieutenant governor for information.”
What led to issuance of the order?
In the order both Sisodia and Jain have mentioned that over the last few months, “There have been several instances when matters of urgent and great public importance were dealt behind the back of the elected government”.
The order was issued after it came to the knowledge of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal that there had been a failure in disbursement of scholarships to SC/ST students of government schools in Delhi.
"There are scholarship schemes for school children from SC/ST background. The chief minister during one of his daily 'janata darbar' where he meets citizens without prior appointment, came to know that the scholarships meant for the students were not disbursed. It has affected more than five lakh students. We’ve come to know that some of the officials without informing the minister concerned send files 'secretly' to L-G's office. After all who’s accountable for any failure in deliverance? It’ll be the elected representatives like ministers and MLAs and not the officials. Keeping this in mind, this order has been issued," an official source in the Delhi government told Firstpost.
After being informed about the 'scholarship mess', Kejriwal had written a letter to Delhi chief secretary MM Kutty on 30 June about the non-disbursal of scholarships to students of the Delhi government, municipal and New Delhi Municipal Council schools. A report on the issue by the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDC), revealed that lakhs of beneficiaries (students) had not received their scholarships for over 16 months.
"The DDC report has clearly mentioned that government was kept in the dark by the bureaucracy. The files were not given to the minister concerned between 2015 and 2017. More than five lakh scholarships are yet to be disbursed in Delhi, due to complete abdication of responsibilities, apathy, insensitivity and dereliction of duty by the senior most officials of the Delhi government," the official source added.
The Delhi government has alleged that the order was “leaked” to the media. Sisodia took to Twitter and alleged that the office of the lieutenant governor leaked the copy of the order to the media. Those in the government say that this incident may further escalate the tussle between the lieutenant governor and the Delhi government.
Updated Date: Jul 26, 2017 06:32 AM