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Delhi LG office returns 47 files signed by CMO staff instead of CM Kejriwal

The development came nearly a week after LG VK Saxena wrote to Kejriwal, pointing out that the CMO was forwarding files seeking opinion and approvals to the LG Secretariat without his signatures

Vinai Kumar Saxena

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.

Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi Lieutenant Governor's (LG) office has returned 47 files signed by the CMO staff instead of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a move that is likely to intensify the tussle between the two constitutional authorities in the capital, sources said on Saturday.
No official response was available from the Delhi government in the matter.
However, sources in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government alleged that LG VK Saxena is "acting like a headmaster of a primary school" and added that he is "unfit" for the post.
The move came nearly a week after Saxena wrote to Kejriwal, pointing out that the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) was forwarding files seeking opinions and approvals to the LG Secretariat without his signatures.
The files returned by the LG Secretariat included those related to the education department and the Waqf Board among others, sources at the LG office said.
They claimed that the CMO continued to send files not signed by the chief minister, despite the LG flagging the issue.
"Some of the files that have been returned to the CMO were sent without the chief minister's signature even after the LG's letter, while the other files were received by the LG office earlier," one of the sources said.
Saxena had flagged the issue in his letter to Kejriwal on August 22, stressing on the chief minister's signature on the files sent by the CMO for seeking his approvals and opinions in the interest of smooth and effective governance, the sources said.
The LG had mentioned in his letter that files from the CMO were being sent for his approval and opinions with notings like "the chief minister has seen and approved" and "the chief minister has seen it", but without his signatures.
"In the recent months, a significant number of proposals, as a matter of routine, have been submitted by the CMO for the LG's approval or opinion through the joint secretary or the additional secretary, with the remarks 'Hon'ble chief minister has seen and approved the proposal', without specifying any grounds of urgency warranting such a communication," the LG had said.
He had also asked Kejriwal to introduce the e-office system, implemented in most government offices, so as to enable a seamless movement of files.
The latest development comes amid a tussle between the AAP government and the LG office over various issues.
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe recommended by Saxena into the city government's excise policy has already become a flashpoint between the AAP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The LG had, in his letter, cited a provision of the Manual of Office Procedure, 2022 that said in rare and urgent cases, when a minister is sick or travelling, his approval can be taken telephonically and communicated by his private secretary in writing.
However, the minister has to confirm his decision after joining work.
The LG had flagged the issue, saying the "practice" of submission of files on a routine basis with signatures of CMO officials needs to be avoided.
In the absence of the chief minister's signature, it is not clear whether the proposal has been seen and approved by him or not, he had said in the letter.
The handling or receipt of files by the joint or additional secretary at the CMO constrained the LG office to communicate Saxena's decision to those officials, it had said.
The sources in the LG office said files were duly signed by chief ministers prior to 2013.
Since assuming office, Saxena has alleged various discrepancies in the functioning of the Delhi government. The AAP in turn has accused him of working on the directions of the BJP-led Centre to derail its development projects.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 27 2022 | 4:52 PM IST

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