The Aam Aadmi Party government on Thursday claimed that Delhi’s bureacrats are refusing to follow its orders in violation of the Supreme Court’s judgement the previous day. The party is consulting its lawyers on the matter, PTI quoted Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia as saying.
The top court has clearly stated that the lieutenant governor’s powers in Delhi are limited to matters related to the police, land, and law and order, Sisodia said. The bureaucracy is no longer under the lieutenant governor’s control, he added.
“The chief secretary has written to me saying the services department will not follow the orders,” Sisodia said. “If they are not going to abide by it [the Supreme Court’s judgement] and the transfer files will still be seen by the LG, then it will amount to contempt of the Constitution bench.”
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he has sought an appointment with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday to “seek his support and cooperation” in implementing the judgement.
The party repeatedly claimed that the Centre was using the lieutenant governor’s office to paralyse its executive functions and thwart administrative and governance reforms.
The Centre, in a notification in May 2015, gave the lieutenant governor new powers such as control over Delhi’s bureaucracy. The Delhi High Court upheld the notification, leading to a power tussle between the AAP government and the lieutenant governor. The party repeatedly claimed that the Centre was using the lieutenant governor’s office to paralyse its executive functions and reforms.
A Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, however, said on Wednesday that the lieutenant governor is bound by the “aid and advice” of the council of ministers of the Delhi government in all matters under its jurisdiction.
After the judgement, the Delhi government introduced a new system for transfer and postings of bureaucrats, making Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal the approving authority, PTI reported. However, the services department refused to comply with the order, saying that the the Centre’s notification of 2015 still stands.
“The notification might not have been quashed by Constitution bench, but it will be done by a division bench,” the Aam Aadmi Party said. “That’s merely a formality. In the light of the above judgement, can LG still exercise executive powers over services? Will there be no transfer orders in Delhi from now till decision of Division Bench?”
The situation “clearly shows that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre is not going to mend its ways”, AAP leader Gopal Rai said.