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Delhi govt takes on Najeeb Jung over transfer, ‘intimidation’ of honest officials

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New Delhi: Delhi’s AAP government has slammed Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for allegedly “intimidating” senior officers and “shunting out an honest bureaucrat fighting against graft”. The latter, however, clarified the officer was transferred at the Centre’s behest.

The government vowed to stand by its bureaucrats and announced the setting up of a panel of three ministers on Friday to “protect bureaucrats from political victimisation”.

Transfer and posting of senior bureaucrats in the national capital have been a sore point between the Aam Aadmi Party government and Jung, with both claiming the power to ‘rule the city’.

In a damning charge on Friday, the Arvind Kejriwal government said Jung had threatened several senior officers with dire consequences, including police action, “if they refuse to partake in the exercise of obstructing the functioning of the Delhi government”.

It also questioned why Delhi’s Value Added Tax Commissioner Vijay Kumar, who cracked down on organised tax evasion syndicates, was “shunted out”.

“Why was he suddenly relieved by the hon’ble LG, keeping the chief minister also in the dark? This is not a transfer. This is shunting out of an officer who was fighting against corruption and against deeply entrenched vested interest,” the AAP government said in a statement.

Najeeb Jung responded by saying that he relieved Kumar at the behest of the Centre.

On the charge of browbeating officers, Najeeb Jung said he would not like to comment in view of several episodes of “poor treatment meted out by the elected government to the top bureaucrats”.

The decision to constitute the Group of Ministers, which would be chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, was taken at a cabinet meeting on Friday, an official statement said.

The government said the panel – including ministers Satyendra Jain and Gopal Rai – shall be authorised to take all steps required to protect officers, including providing legal support to them, at government cost.

The government also passed two resolutions against Jung on these issues.

The AAP government and Jung do not see eye to eye on a host of issues, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accusing Jung of sabotaging the city administration at the behest of the Centre.

The Kejriwal government said Najeeb Jung threatened several senior officers with dire consequences, including police action, “if they refuse to partake in the exercise of obstructing the functioning of the Delhi government”.

The government said the LG warned that if bureaucrats did not toe his line their careers would be “destroyed”.

“These officers were told to paralyse the elected AAP government by making adverse and obstructionist file notings against government decisions,” the government said.

It also said that Najeeb Jung’s “intimidating and coercive tactics” had intensified over the last one month and he was “misusing the names of top officials of the central government to pressurise the officers to act in an illegal manner”.

“The cabinet is aghast to learn of these developments. This is a clear attempt to subvert the functioning of a democratically elected government which had come to power with a thumping majority.”

The government said it supported all officers and would even extend legal aid if they were pressurised by anyone.

(IANS)

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Saw AAP MLAs Assaulting Chief Secretary, CM’s Advisor Tells Police

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement

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The AAP had denied the charges of assault and said that the Chief Secretary was making allegations at the behest of the BJP. Wikimedia Commons

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s adviser V. K. Jain on Thursday told police that he saw AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal “physically assaulting” Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, according to Jain’s statement recorded by the Delhi Police.

The AAP defended by stating that Jain had initially told police that he did not witness any assault and police has threatened Jain to change his statement.

On Tuesday, the Chief Secretary had alleged that he was beaten up by the two AAP MLAs in the presence of Kejriwal at the Chief Minister’s residence on Monday night, where he had been called for an emergency meeting.

ALSO READ: The assault on Chief Secretary exposes the double standards of AAP government

Police later arrested Khan and Jarwal and they were sent to judicial custody till Thursday.

According to the Chief Secretary, the Chief Minister’s adviser had called him over the phone and asked him to come to the Chief Minister’s residence for the meeting and Jain was also present there.

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According to the statement, Jain also saw that the Chief Secretary’s spectacles had fallen to the ground and the Chief Secretary picked them up and left the room. Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, the Delhi Police submitted Jain’s statement at a city court, which said that Jain had gone to the washroom during the meeting and as he came out he saw the two AAP MLAs “physically assaulting” the Chief Secretary.

The statement was recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC, which means that it was recorded in front of the police and not a magistrate.

Sources told IANS that Jain later recorded his statement in front of a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC.

“The statement under section 164 was later recorded with the magistrate in front a camera, without the presence of police. In that statement also he (Jain) has said that he saw the two MLAs physically assaulting the Chief Secretary,” a police officer privy to the case told IANS.

The officer said that the statement under section 164 has also been submitted to the court.

Jain was first questioned on Wednesday morning and then again on Thursday and his statement was recorded on Thursday.

The change in Jain’s statement that the AAP was referring to was from a “question and answer” with Jain recorded by police after questioning him on Wednesday.

According to a copy of Wednesday’s “question and answer” recorded by police, when asked whether Jain saw the Chief Secretary being manhandled, he replied that he had gone to the washroom in between the meeting and he could not say what happened during that time.

“By putting pressure on him (Jain) throughout the day (Thursday) and by threatening him, police has forced him to change his statement,” AAP MP Sanjay Singh told the media here on Thursday.

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Singh said that the whole issue was a conspiracy to “bring down the Delhi government” and to “defame the AAP”. Wikimedia Commons

 

“How is it that the same Jain who emphatically said yesterday that he witnessed no assault during the entire time that he was present there has now claimed otherwise?” he asked.

Singh said that AAP MLAs were being arrested over an alleged assault of which there was no proof.

“But on the other hand, despite there being video footage of officials assaulting Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, there is no action taken against the guilty by the Delhi Police,” the AAP MP said.

The court on Thursday sent the two AAP MLAs, arrested on charges of assaulting the Chief Secretary, to judicial custody for 14 days.

ALSO READ: Delhi Chief Secretary row: AAP MLA arrested

Orders on the bail pleas of the two AAP MLAs and also on their police custody will be pronounced on Friday.

Meanwhile, scores of Delhi government employees across the city observed a five-minute silence outside their respective offices as a protest against the alleged assault on the Chief Secretary.

The IAS Association said that officers would continue the protest every day, till steps are taken to “ensure safety and dignity” of government staff in the city.

The AAP also hit out at Lt Governor Anil Baijal by stating that he was “working as a BJP agent” and demanded action against those involved in “manhandling and beating up” Hussain and his aide at the Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. (IANS)