Appointment of Chief Secretary: Eminent lawyers back AAP govt’s stand

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 19, 2015

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (file photo)

Eminent lawyers Rajeev Dhavan and Indira Jaising have supported the Delhi government’s stand asserting that the Lt Governor has no independent discretion in the appointment of a Chief Secretary. The Delhi government had sought their opinion on the issue of powers of the LG to appoint a Chief Secretary.

Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, in his letter, said the Chief Minister has a “perfect right” to a Chief Secretary of his choice and the current “crisis” has been created by the Lt Governor.

“The Chief Minister has a perfect right to a Chief Secretary of his choice. I am firmly of the opinion that this crisis has been created entirely by the LG,” Dhavan wrote in his opinion to the Delhi government over the appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung against the wishes of the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation.

Dhavan mentioned that the “lapse of 40 hours is not sufficient reason for the LG to impose his choice on the CM, especially when his urgency powers arise only when a reference is pending before the Central Government”.

He mentioned that at best, the Lt Governor can advice the Chief Minister that it is necessary to appoint a Chief Secretary forthwith.

It is absolutely clear that the LG has exceeded his authority and has turned the entire relationship between himself and council of ministers on its head to jeopardise democracy and the Constitution, he said.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising also supported the Delhi Government observing, “There is no provision granting the LG the power to act at his own discretion in the matter of appointment of the Chief Secretary.”

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Published on May 19, 2015
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