The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday denied that it had advised Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to ignore any part of the Supreme Court order on powers related to the Delhi government. In its ruling on Wednesday, the top court said 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.
Earlier on Friday, Kejriwal claimed that during his meeting with Baijal, the lieutenant governor said he did not agree that he has to hand over the control of the services department to the state government.
“[The] MHA has advised LG to ignore that part of SC order, which restricts LG’s powers to only three subjects,” Kejriwal said on Twitter. “V [Very] dangerous that central govt advising LG not to follow Hon’ble SC’s orders. Have sought time from Rajnath Singh ji to urge him to follow Hon’ble SC’s orders.”
The Home Ministry said it has only advised the lieutenant governor to follow the law. “The MHA has not advised the LG to ignore any part of the SC order,” the ministry said in a statement. “This is a misleading statement. The MHA has only advised the LG, based on a reference received from him, to follow the law. This advice is based on the Ministry of law’s opinion that the Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court has clearly ordered that the matter be placed before the appropriate regular bench.”
The Centre asserted that it will be against the law to take a final view on the matter related to services department as it was still pending before the top court. “This is also in accordance with the Proviso to Article 145 (3) of the Constitution,” it said.
After his meeting with the lieutenant governor on Friday, Kejriwal said it was the first time in India’s history that the central government has openly refused to obey the top court’s order. “If the government doesn’t follow orders of the Supreme Court, there will be anarchy in the country,” he said.
The Aam Aadmi Party had moved the High Court after the Centre issued a notification in May 2015, giving the lieutenant governor new powers such as control over the bureaucracy. On Wednesday, the court said said the real authority to make decisions lies with the elected government, not the lieutenant governor.