The High Court on Tuesday withdrew its interim direction allowing Delhi Assembly to continue the services of professionals engaged as fellows who were terminated following an order by Lieutenant-Governor V.K. Saxena. The L-G order had cited irregularities in the hiring of 400 “specialists” by the city government in various departments.
Withdrawing the order, Justice Subramonium Prasad noted that the Supreme Court had earlier declined to stay the termination of the services of the “specialists”.
“In view of the above, this court is inclined to vacate the stay granted by it in its order dated August 21, 2023. However, it is always open for the petitioner to approach the apex court to get appropriate clarifications,” Justice Prasad said.
Earlier, the counsel for the petitioners had said that the services of the Assembly fellows, who were appointed following due procedure, were terminated in an arbitrary manner.
On September 26, following the High Court’s interim order, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had directed that the fellows be reinstated and their stipends paid.
“At least 50 fellows and associate fellows had resumed services after the court’s August 21 order. However, their services will now be stopped,” a source at the Assembly said.
140 fellows hit
Mr. Saxena’s order on July 5 had affected 50 fellows and 90 associate fellows, who were hired at the Delhi Assembly Research Centre (DARC) on a stipend of ₹1 lakh and ₹60,000 per month, respectively.
The L-G issued the order after Parliament passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which gave the Centre control over bureaucrats in the Delhi government.
On August 9, the Assembly Secretariat discontinued their services, after which the fellows challenged the order in the High Court. After noticing the difference in the stand between the Speaker and the L-G, the High Court had restrained the authorities from discontinuing their services.
Meanwhile, the L-G’s order was challenged by the Delhi government before the Supreme Court, which had declined to stay the Mr. Saxena’s order.