Delhi leadership battle back in Supreme Court

Plea filed seeking early disposal of all appeals filed by Delhi government on the scope of its powers in view of recent verdict by Constitution bench

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing tussle between Arvind Kejriwal government and Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the Supreme Court on Tuesday indicated its readiness to hear next week an AAP plea on the city’s officers, including postings and transfers.

Rahul Mehra, senior standing counsel for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, tweeted that a plea had been filed in the court of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, seeking an early disposal of all appeals filed by the Delhi government on the scope of its powers in view of the recent verdict by a Constitution bench.

Mehra said the bench headed by the Chief Justice indicated that “the matters shall be listed before the appropriate bench some time next week”.

The Delhi government approached the top court as there was “still confusion over who has powers in transfers and postings of officials”, Mehra said.

The three-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud on July 4 ruled that the Lt Governor was bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

The bench also ruled that the Lt Governor exercised no independent powers as the representative of the central government as barring law and order, police and land, the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern on other issues.

The court last week said issues regarding various notifications issued by the Delhi government in exercise of its administrative and legislative powers would be dealt separately by an appropriate smaller bench.

A day after the Supreme Court ruling, the Kejriwal government sent Baijal files recommending transfer and posting of officials. But the Lt Governor stonewalled it, saying the issue involving “Services” was yet to be decided.

Baijal said the Union Home Ministry had advised him to keep exercising powers over “Services” because the May 21, 2015 notification remained valid until a regular bench of the apex court decided on it.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday reiterated that Baijal had violated the Supreme Court orders and appointed Director Education without informing the elected government.

“Considering the apex court’s order, what the LG did by appointing Director Education is illegal. This is a violation of the Supreme Court’s order. The elected government spends 26 per cent on education but Baijal did not even bother to talk to us,” Sisodia told the reporters here.

“In the education sector, even ministers from other states come to talk to us about how things should be done, but the LG says that Services is with [him] and [he] won’t discuss it with [us],” he said.

Share This Post