On 29 March, the Centre suspended two senior Delhi government officers and served show-cause notices to two others for ‘serious lapses’ in duty, during the ongoing lockdown in view of COVID-19.
“It has been brought to the notice of the competent authority that the officers, who were responsible to ensure strict compliance to the instructions issued by the chairperson, National Executive Committee, formed under the Disaster Management Act 2005, regarding containment of the spread of COVID-19, have prima facie failed to do so,” stated the Home Ministry spokesperson. “These officers have failed to ensure public health and safety during the lockdown restrictions to combat COVID-19,” he added.
As per the HM spokesperson, the suspended officers include Additional Chief Secretary (Transport) Renu Sharma and Principal Secretary (Finance) Rajeev Verma, while the officers who have been served with show-cause notice include Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Land Buildings) Satya Gopal and Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Seelampur) Ajay Arora. While Sharma, Verma and Gopal are senior IAS officers, Arora is reportedly an officer belonging to Delhi Andaman Nicobar Islands Civil Service.
Further, the Central government has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the four officers for dereliction of duty regarding containment of the spread of COVID-19, informed the Home Ministry spokesperson.
The order issued by the Home Ministry read that “Additional Chief Secretary (Transport) Renu Sharma and Principal Secretary (Finance) Rajeev Verma have failed to maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty. It is also contemplated to initiate proceedings for imposition of major penalty against them.”
Subsequently, the two suspended officers, Renu Sharma and Rajeev Verma were asked by the ministry not to leave Delhi without the competent authority’s approval.