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Delhi LG Defends Termination of 437 Consultants, Fellows, and Researchers, Citing Flouted Reservation Policy and Revised Selection Criteria [Read LG Reply Affidavit]

By LawStreet News Network      19 July, 2023 10:34 PM      0 Comments
Delhi LG Defends Termination of 437 Consultants, Fellows, and Researchers, Citing Flouted Reservation Policy and Revised Selection Criteria

NEW DELHI: Delhi's Lieutenant Governor has claimed before the Supreme Court that a total of 437 consultants, fellows and researchers were appointed by the Arvind Kejriwal government without following the reservation policy, and by revising selection criteria and rigging the process.

Maintaining that their engagements were inherently unconstitutional and illegal, the LG's office claimed those appointed were ineligible and got involved in political activities for the ruling party.

The constitutional authority justified the decision to dismiss such people in a written response to an application filed by the Delhi government seeking stay on the July 5 order by the LG to terminate services of 437 consultants, fellows and researchers.

An affidavit filed by the principal secretary to the LG stated, "The approval of the Lt Governor was not taken, which was mandatory under the contemporaneous law; the selection process was fraught with favoritism and nepotism."

The response also said it cannot be gainsaid that in any form of public employment, the selection process must satisfy the mandates of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Simply possessing a qualification from a specific Institution or University or having worked with specific person or agency would not entitle a person to claim public employment remunerated from the state exchequer.

"He/she is required to go through a fair and transparent process of selection according to the position required, which shall meet the constitutional requirements of reservation for Scheduled Castes and other classes, as flows out of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution read with relevant laws of the land, and be otherwise in accordance with law," it said.

The affidavit also raised the question of maintainability of the plea since the issue does not relate to the May 19 Ordinance, related to control of civil services, at all.

It said the Delhi government should have approached the High Court in the matter.

"Merely because the issue relating to the Ordinance is pending here. Such clever piggy-backing cannot be permitted by this court to denude the answering Respondent its right to even appeal," it said.

It was alleged by opposition BJP that most of 437 specialists, fellows, assistant fellows, and advisors among others hired by the Delhi government were working as party agents and some of them were even relatives, brother or wife of sitting AAP MLAs. These people drew hefty salaries.

"The insidious strategy of the petitioner is clear. There is no violation of any fundamental rights here. However, all that the petitioner is doing is taking consistent precipitative steps as a political agenda. Instead of bringing about cohesive administration in the Delhi, the petitioner consistently approaches this court, attempting to call into question every attempt by the office of the Lieutenant Governor to engage in cooperative governance and serve the people of Delhi," it added.

[Read LG Reply Affidavit]

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