Shakuntala Gamlin at the heart of Kejriwal-Jung turf war: All you need to know about Delhi's chief secy

Shakuntala Gamlin — principle secretary (power), who took over as the acting chief secretary on Saturday — is caught between the ongoing power struggle between Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Gamlin shot to fame after Kejriwal objected her elevation by Najeeb Jung after Chief Secretary K K Sharma went on leave for 10 days on 13 May. The Chief Minister also accused Gamlin of lobbying for power companies.

Najeeb Jung gave the additional charge of Chief Secretary to Gamlin, a 1984-batch IAS officer, hours after she wrote a scathing letter to Jung claiming that she was pressurised by a senior bureaucrat in CM's office not to be in race for the post due to her alleged proximity to BSES discoms.

On Saturday, Kejriwal tweeted asking Delhiites whether “a person perceived to be very close” to power firms be made chief secretary. On Sunday, Kejriwal accused the central government of creating problems for the Delhi government.

“We opposed the appointment of Chief Secretary (Gamlin), but Modi’s government appointed her as CS. We have been struggling for last four days, but Modi’s government wanted to Delhi government to fail,” he alleged and added that  his government would ensure that every file to Gamlin's office over the next 10 days will go  through him.

Here is all you need to know about Gamlin

Shakuntala Gamlin

Shakuntala Gamlin

Shakuntala Gamlin is the wife of former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Jarbom Gamlin. Jarbom passed away in November 2014. Kejriwal has accused her of tricking the government into signing documents which would give Rs 11,000 crore to power firms which she allegedly favoured.

• A 1984-batch Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre IAS officer, Shakuntala Gamlin is a post-graduate in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University.

• Gamlin, in her career spanning over 30 years, has worked in several positions in both State and Union governments. Starting from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh to the National Capital Territory of Delhi, Gamlin has worked in various capacities. She has also worked on Central deputation with Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

But Shakuntala Gamlin was not  free of controversy.

• According to this Daily Pioneer report, Gamlin was one of the many IAS officers in Delhi who tried to stall transfer out of Delhi through their political mentors or delayed their posting outside the Capital by manipulating senior bureaucrats at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

• Gamlin was put on central deputation twice. After May 1999 she was deputed for five years and the second time for six years from April 2008. Between 2004 and 2008, she served as Secretary (Services) in the Delhi Government. On 2 April, 2008, she again went on central deputation and joined the Ministry of Health. She returned to Delhi administration in April this year and was the Principal Secretary (Services) till her appointment as the acting Chief Secretary, a PTI report said.

• Gamlin has been with the Delhi government since 1994 — that is 20 years. Daily Pioneer alleged that whenever a tough transfer was due, Gamlin "managed" to get a central deputation and then return to the Delhi administration.

Shakuntala Gamlin In January 2015, Gamlin was temporarily given charge of the finance department. Before this Gamlin was incharge of five departments. Noting her close proximity to the Raj Niwas and Chief Secretary, this report in The Sunday Standard said that many top IAS officers were unhappy over Gamlin's transfer to the Power and Industries departments in 2015. The power department was headless after IAS officer Arun Goyal was transferred to Mizoram.

Gamlin's 20-year stint with the Delhi government defied most service rules. Senior officers have to serve six-and-a-half years in Delhi, three years in second category and five years in hard posting. The super-senior officers have to serve 13 years in Delhi in three tenures, two years in soft areas like Goa and other Union Territories and four years in hard postings.

Basically, an AGMUT cadre IAS officer has to serve 14 years outside Delhi. "To complete all the soft and hard postings outside Delhi, an IAS officer needs to be transferred after every four to five years of continuous service in Delhi. The officer should not stay in Delhi for more than six years of continuous service," a senior IAS officer was quoted as saying by the Sunday Standard.


Updated Date: May 18, 2015 17:17 PM

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