As many as eight officers posted in the Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) have alleged “blatant harassment” by the Arvind Kejriwal government, officials in the LG Office claimed on Saturday.
No immediate reaction was available from the Delhi government or the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the national capital over the allegation of harassment of the officers.
The officials at the Lieutenant Governor (LG) Office said two complaints were received earlier this year, while six were received after May 11, the day when the Supreme Court granted control of services matters, except police, land and public order, to the elected government in Delhi.
A Delhi government official said any reaction on the allegations can be provided only after going through the complaints, if there are any.
There was also no reaction immediately available from the officers who have alleged they were harassed.
Five IAS officers are among those who have complained against the AAP government. They are Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, former services secretary Ashish More, special secretaries Kinny Singh and YVVJ Rajasekhar, and Power Secretary Shurbir Singh.
IPS officer and head of the anti-corruption branch, Madhur Verma, IRS officer and chief assessor and collector in the house tax department of the MCD, Kunal Kashyap, and ad-hoc DANICS officer and deputy secretary in the services department, Amitabh Joshi, are also among the complainants, the officials said.
Madhur Verma and Shurbir Singh, who hail from Punjab, have alleged in their complaint that their families were being targeted in their home state. Shurbir Singh has informed the LG Office that he has approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the harassment of his family, the officials said.
The AAP is in power in Punjab and there was no reaction from it on the complaints by the officers who hail from the state.
There has been a growing discord between bureaucrats and the AAP dispensation in Delhi ever since the Supreme Court granted the city government executive power in services matters, including transfer and posting of officers.
Hours after the top court order placed the control of bureaucrats working with the Delhi government, More was removed as services secretary.
Delhi Services Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj had also alleged on Friday that Chief Secretary (CS) Kumar had issued a death threat to him on May 16.
Mr Kumar, however, claimed in a letter to the LG that the allegations were an after-thought of Bharadwaj to save himself from his alleged misconduct with the officers of the services department.
Sharing details, an official of the LG Office said on May 16, the chief secretary was called by Bharadwaj to his chamber in the Delhi Secretariat after office hours to schedule a meeting of the Civil Services Board (CSB) in the night.
“Due to repeated calls from the minister, the chief secretary again reached the secretariat and met him. The CS informed the minister that the CSB met in the morning of May 16 regarding the directions of the minister for change in procedure to be followed by the CSB and that the CSB’s recommendations was pending with the minister,” the official said.
“This file was cleared by Bharadwaj and notings were sent through WhatsApp at 9:55 pm on May 16 and the physical file was sent around 10:23 pm on May 16 to the official residence of the CS. On May 19, Bharadwaj made false allegations that the CS has threatened to kill him,” the official said.
This has been done to make a “counter-complaint as an after-thought to save himself from the misconduct done by him with officers of the services department on May 16, once he came to know about the same”, the official said referring to Services Minister Bharadwaj.
In a complaint to the LG, former services secretary More on May 16 complained that Bharadwaj intimidated and detained him along with another official — 2014-batch IAS officer Kinny Singh who is special secretary in the services department — in his office over some files.
More alleged that the minister forced him to sign a paper and when he did not do so, Bharadwaj threatened him with dire consequences, saying that his career will be completely ruined.
In his complaint, More also claimed that another official of the services department, Joshi, was misbehaved with and that Bharadwaj also forced him to sign a paper.
More had complained against the minister to the CS and the Union home ministry through the LG. Special secretary vigilance Rajasekhar, who was looking into the Delhi excise scam case, expenditure incurred on the renovation of the chief minister’s official residence and other alleged irregularities, was divested of his charge through an order issued by Bharadwaj. The LG Office officials said there was an attempt to intimidate Delhi’s power secretary Shurbir Singh by using the Punjab Police to go after his family in the state.
He has since moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against this harassment, the officials said.
The LG Office officials also claimed that anti-corruption branch chief Verma, who also belongs to Punjab, was similarly “hounded” by the Punjab Police.
“The AAP government in Punjab was after his family — brother and his wife — in Ludhiana. He repeatedly brought this undue harassment to the notice of LG over months,” the official said. Verma alleged that he was harassed since he took action against Delhi Waqf Board chairman and Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan in an alleged corruption case.
The LG office official further said that the MCD mayor has sent a note to the MCD commissioner against Kashyap, alleging that the officer is going slow against house tax evasion by the property of a news agency in RK Puram. The officer has taken bribes from the firm, the mayor (Shelly Oberoi) has alleged, according to the official.
The mayor, a member of the AAP, has asked the commissioner to withdraw all works from the officer.