Speaker refuses to relieve Delhi Assembly Secretary

New Delhi: Two days after Lt Governor Najeeb Jung ordered repatriation of the Delhi Assembly Secretary, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel has refused to relieve the officer, saying his decision was solely aimed at “upholding the Constitution”.

Jung has transferred several senior officers, including Delhi Assembly Secretary Prasanna Kumar Suryadevara, in the last two days and yesterday formed a three-member panel to examine 400 files pertaining to the AAP government’s decision.

In his letter to Jung, Goel said, “I have directed Prasanna Kumar Suryadevara to continue to discharge his duties as Secretary, Legislative Assembly, who is holding an ex-cadre position which is purely under the control of Speaker, Legislative Assembly.

“The decision of mine is solely aimed at upholding the Constitution in letter and spirit.

“As I am holding Constitutional post, LG cannot repatriate the Assembly Secretary without my concurrence,” Geol told PTI.

In the letter, the Speaker said,” I have no other option but to put on record my serious concern about this grievous injury sought to be inflicted on the Constitutional Scheme, which I am afraid is aimed at making the duly elected legislature totally defunct.”

Suryadevara, an officer belonging to Newsreader-cum- Translator (Telugu) cadre, was appointed to the post of Delhi Assembly Secretary in July last year, initially for a period of one year.

When Suryadevara’s one-year deputation period ended this July, the Assembly Speaker had requested Prasar Bharti for extension.

However, Prasar Bharti expressed inability to extend Suryadevara’s deputation and asked the Delhi government to repatriate him, saying it was in dire need of experienced professionals.

Suryadevara has served in the office of the Lok Sabha Speaker for five years and that of the Rajya Sabha Chairman for over six years.