In a big set-back to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Delhi High Court has ruled that Lieutenant Governor is the administrative head of National Capital Territory of Delhi. The court also dismissed Delhi government’s contention that the LG is bound to act on the advice of Council of Ministers.
The AAP and its chief Arvind Kejriwal is locked in a very public tussle with Delhi LG Najeeb Jung on the issue of scope of powers of the elected government of Delhi. The tussle, which soon began after AAP’s thumping victory in February 2015, has often seen Kejriwal clashing with the Centre as well.
Dismissing the plea filed by the AAP-led Delhi government, the bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath upheld the Centre’s May 21, 2015, notification giving absolute powers to LG in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital.
The court also quashed several notifications issued by Kejriwal government saying they were illegal as they were issued without concurrence of LG.
A total of 11 cases arising out of the confrontation between the LG and Delhi government were heard by the Delhi High Court.
Among the matters dismissed by the Delhi are notification by the Kejriwal government of ordering probe into alleged corruption in Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA), notification ordering investigations in contract related to equipment for public buses, besides other several notifications where LG Najeeb Jung’s consent was not taken.
The Delhi High Court also rejected Delhi government’s challenge to the July 23, 2014 notification by the Centre limiting the jurisdiction of the Anti Corruption Branch to Delhi government officials only.
After pronouncement of the verdict, the Delhi Government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra said they will immediately approach the Supreme Court appealing against the High Court verdict.
(With inputs from the PTI)