Coronavirus | Two Delhi government officers suspended, two others served with show cause notices

The National Executive Committee formed under Disaster Management Act, 2005, found that the “officers, who were responsible to ensure strict compliance” to the instructions issued by Committee regarding containment of spread of COVID-19, “have prima facie failed to do so.”

The Centre suspended two Delhi government officers and served show cause notice to two others for dereliction of duty as they “failed to ensure public health and safety” during the lockdown restrictions to combat COVID-19.

Three of them were senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers and the fourth one is from Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Service (DANICS).

The National Executive Committee formed under Disaster Management Act, 2005, found that the “officers, who were responsible to ensure strict compliance” to the instructions issued by Committee regarding containment of spread of COVID-19, “have prima facie failed to do so.” Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla chaired the committee meeting.

“These officers have failed to ensure public health and safety during the lockdown restrictions to combat COVID-19. Due to the serious lapse in performance of their duties, the competent authority has initiated disciplinary proceedings against them,” a press note issued by the Government said.

On March 25, the day the 21-day countrywide lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre for the first time invoked the provisions of the National Disaster Management act, 2005, to prepare national plans and uniform management to combat COVID-19 as health and law and order are State subjects.

No official reason given

While no official reason was provided for the suspension of officers, a senior government official said AAP led Delhi Government arranged buses to ferry thousands of migrants till the Uttar Pradesh border defeating the purpose of a lockdown.

However, no such action was initiated against Uttar Pradesh government officers for fetching the migrants from designated points. On March 28, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted that a 1,000 buses were being arranged to help the migrants reach home.

Thousands of migrant labourers and unorganised workers walked on foot from Delhi to their homes in Uttar Pradesh after all modes of transport were suspended. Renu Sharma, additional Chief Secretary, Transport Department and Rajiv Verma, Principal Secretary, Finance were suspended while Satya Gopal, additional Chief Secretary, Home and Land Buildings Departments, and Ajay Kumar Arora, SDM Seelampur, were served show cause notices.

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