New Delhi: With the Delhi Assembly secretary Prasanna Suryadevara caught in middle of a political row over his appointment, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel Friday said while Suryadevara was relieved from the assembly on an order approved by the Lieutenant Governor on August 29, he continued in the assembly under the Speaker’s direction.
Further Goel said he was pleased with Mr Suryadevara's performance and passed a resolution seeking his retention. The Speaker's request had been rejected by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung earlier.
Mr Suryadevara, who is a translator and Tamil anchor on All India Radio, was on deputation to function as a secretary at the Delhi assembly for the last two years. His term expired in July, following which the Speaker wrote to the Lieutenant Governor's office and Prasar Bharti asking for his extension. But Mr Jung turned down the request and asked Mr Suryadevara to return to his parent cadre.
AAP legislator Somnath Bharti, who proposed the resolution, said, "This is a constitutional over reach and an affront on part of the Lieutenant Governor." Health minister Satyendra Jain remarked, "Delhi government believes that assembly is above everything, but some people still live like slaves."
The issue of constitutional rights of the Lieutenant Governor vs the Delhi government had been a long standing contentious issue, which recently saw an order from the Delhi High Court in August, where the court ruled that the ultimate authority in Delhi to transfer officers under central government rests with the Lieutenant Governor.
"Our speaker does not even have the right to hire a chaprasi. He should have the right, that's true, but that's a different debate," said opposition leader from BJP Vijender Gupta. The Delhi Speaker, who introduced the topic in the house, passionately spoke on the issue and said, "Delhi is asking for its rights. Sheila Dikshit also asked for it. So did Madanlal Khurana. This assembly is also asking for its rights."