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New Delhi: The home ministry may withhold salaries of officers who have joined the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi government on deputation from other states without approval from the lieutenant governor.

A home ministry official said appointment of officers in ACB from other states on deputation is “illegal" if it is not done with formal approval of the lieutenant governor, who is the competent authority. If service rules are not followed, the central government would be forced to stop salaries of the officers concerned, the official said.

“All appointment in Delhi government has to be made following rules," the official said. Salaries of Delhi staffers are routed through the Union home ministry. Meanwhile, sources said a DSP rank official, who is among the four officers reportedly cleared by the Bihar government to join Delhi ACB, has refused to take up the new assignment.

The sources said even though there was a request to the Uttar Pradesh Police, no officer has been relieved by the UP government to join Delhi ACB, citing shortage of staff. The fresh controversy has come up following Delhi government’s move to appoint police officers from Bihar in the ACB of Delhi without the necessary approval of the LG.

The home ministry has already made it clear that no appointment can be made in Delhi ACB without his nod. Home ministry officials said as per the CrPC, the ACB is a police station and the police in Delhi comes under the LG. “The LG is the final and the competent authority for appointments of police and hence approval of LG is necessary while appointing anyone in ACB as it is also a police station," the official said.

It also argued that an SHO of any state cannot be appointed in any other state arbitrarily without the stamp of approval of the competent authority. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi and the Lt Governor have been involved in a public spat over his powers vis-a-vis an elected government.

The Centre had on 21 May issued a notification siding with the Lt Governor. The Supreme Court had on 29 May refused to put a stay on the observations of the Delhi high court, which had termed as “suspect" the Centre’s notification clipping powers of the AAP government, saying they were “only tentative in nature" without expressing any opinion on its validity.

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