Hours after SC verdict, another power tussle within Delhi govt

RSTV Bureau
Image: PTI

Image: PTI

Hours after Supreme Court’s crucial verdict on the power equation of Government of Delhi, another tussle seems to be on cards between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. This time the issue concerns the lasting authority on the transfers of the officers in Delhi government.

After claiming victory following the apex court order, AAP puts out an order seeking transfers and postings of bureaucrats, stating Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Deputy Manish Sisodia as the approving authorities.

However, the Delhi Services Department rejected the order on the grounds that Supreme Court has not yet quashed the May, 2015 notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs according to which services matter lies with the LG.

The order came from the deputy CM Manish Sisodia, saying the SC ruled out that Delhi Government is authorised to take decision on all subjects, except on the issues of land, police and law & order, which are in central purview.

Manish Sisodia said the refusal to comply with the Delhi government’s directives amounts to contempt of court and the leadership is seeking legal opinion on the matter,

“The chief secretary has written to me saying the services department will not follow the orders. If they are not going to abide by it and the transfer files will still be seen by the LG then it will amount to contempt of the constitution bench,” Sisodia told reporters, adding they are “consulting lawyers” about what can be done in this situation.

Earlier, in a series of tweets by AAP, it says that in the light of the court’s judgement the executive powers are with council of ministers to take a call on the matter of transfers and postings of the IAS and DANICS (Delhi, Anadaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services) officers which earlier fell in LG’s power list.

After the court’s verdict Lieutenant Governor can’t exercise the power as it will be the contempt of Court, the AAP claimed.

But a top official said the bureaucrats have “clearly” conveyed to the deputy chief minister that the new order will not be followed as they found it to be “legally incorrect”. This means that despite the court’s ruling the matter of jurisdiction of transfer of officers is still with the LG.

AAP, on Wednesday, hailed the Supreme Court’s verdict which pronounced that LG has no independent decision-making power and barred him to act as an obstructionist. The order also read that the LG is bound to act upon the aid and advices of council of ministers.