New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today suggested to the Delhi Assembly Secretary, stuck in a tug-of- war between the Centre and the AAP government, to respond to the disciplinary proceeding initiated against him by the All India Radio.
“You have everything (documents). You do not require anything else. So respond,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said to the Secretary, Prasanna Kumar Suryadevara, while hearing his plea to quash the disciplinary proceeding against him.
The proceeding was initiated against him by the AIR, his parent cadre, for not returning there after then Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had ordered his repatriation in August last year.
Proceeding against him is also being carried out for writing an article – ‘Neither Office, Nor Profit’, with the permission of Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, who has already moved the court against Suryadevara’s repatriation.
The court, however, did not pass any order in either of the matters and asked the lawyer for AIR to take instructions on whether Suryadevara’s response could be considered as a reply made at the stage of issuance of the charge sheet.
In the instant matter as Suryadevara had not responded to the memos and charge sheet, the AIR had passed an ex-parte order for initiating an inquiry against him.
The judge listed the matter for hearing on May 2 to await the AIR’s stand as the issue of maintainability of Suryadevara’s plea required “deeper examination” and the court did not want the disciplinary proceeding to be interdicted.
During the hearing, the court questioned why Suryadevara did not participate in the disciplinary proceeding right from the start.
“You should have responded on day one and said you are not at fault. If you had, they probably would not have done anything regarding charge one (not returning to AIR),” it said.
The court also noted that despite having all required documents, the Assembly Secretary had asked for “everything under the Earth, relevant or irrelevant”.
The court also heard arguments on whether Suryadevara’s plea was maintainable here or will the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) be the appropriate forum.
The issue of maintainability was raised by the services department of the Delhi government and the AIR.
The AIR and the services department said that as Suryadevara was a central government appointee on deputation to the Delhi Assembly, therefore CAT was the appropriate forum.
On the other hand, it was argued on behalf of Suryadevara that since he was appointed to the Secretarial services of the Delhi legislature, he would not come under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal as per the CAT Act.
Suryadevara, an officer of the Newsreader-cum-Translator (Telugu) cadre, was deputed to Delhi Assembly for a year after which Jung had ordered to relieve him.
Goel, however, had refused to relieve the official, insisting that since he as Speaker also held a constitutional office, the LG cannot repatriate the Assembly secretary without his concurrence.
Suryadevara had earlier served in the offices of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee for five years and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari for over six years.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.