Delhi Services Dept. makes L-G’s call official: 437 appointments by AAP govt. declared ‘void’

Government sources says termination orders to be issued soon to the persons concerned; all departments ordered to stop engagement of fellows, advisers, specialists and consultants hired by elected government

July 06, 2023 01:35 am | Updated 01:35 am IST - New Delhi

L-G V.K. Saxena (right) had ordered terminating services of the consultants, Raj Niwas officials said on Monday. 

L-G V.K. Saxena (right) had ordered terminating services of the consultants, Raj Niwas officials said on Monday.  | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

The Delhi Services Department on Wednesday issued an order that 437 private persons appointed as advisers, fellows and consultants by the Aam Aadmi Party government are “void ab initio” (void from the beginning) and asked the departments concerned to stop their services.

While there was no official response, sources in the government said a majority of these employees had worked closely with AAP leaders.

The development comes after Raj Niwas officials on Monday said Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena terminated nearly 400 private persons from service whom the Delhi government hired via “back door entry”. The government had said it would challenge the decision in court, while accusing the L-G of “acting against the Constitution”.

Wednesday’s order, which did not mention any names, stated, “It is observed that the extant provisions of reservations for SC/ST/OBC... prescribed by the DoPT [Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel Public Grievances and Pensions]... for reservation in temporary appointments lasting for 45 days or more have also not been followed in these engagements.”

Reservation provisions

“It is also observed that the above-mentioned engagements have been made in gross violations of the constitutional provisions on reservation, thus, void ab initio,” it added, while directing the Finance Department not to pay them salaries.

The order directed all departments to stop engagements of all the fellows, associate fellows, advisers, deputy advisers, specialists, senior research officers and consultants, whose appointment was done without the L-G’s approval.

Agencies impacted

According to the order accessed by The Hindu, the Delhi Transport Corporation had engaged as many as 49 such persons in various designations. The Delhi Jal Board had employed a chief media adviser at a monthly remuneration of ₹1.5 lakh and a consultant (water bodies) at ₹2 lakh. The Legislative Assembly had 50 fellows, who received ₹1 lakh a month. The Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi had positions of six advisers who were paid ₹2.65 lakh a month and 21 consultants who received ₹1.25 lakh.

The 437 appointments include 140 fellows and associate fellows appointed at the Delhi Assembly Research Centre (DARC) since 2019. Asked if the DARC fellows will be terminated, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said, “We are yet to receive the order through any official channel. We will take a decision once we receive it. I cannot comment on it right now.”

“Now, the departments concerned will issue termination orders to the particular people and then only it can be confirmed who exactly will lose their jobs,” a Delhi government source said.

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