Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday accused Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal of being “selective” in implementing the Supreme Court order on the administrative powers in the Capital. The court had on July 4 ruled that the lieutenant governor was bound by the “aid and advice” of the council of ministers of the Delhi government in all matters under its jurisdiction. Kejriwal wrote to Baijal, asking him to “fully implement the court’s orders in letter and spirit”.
Kejriwal said that of the five topics the Supreme Court had mentioned in its judgement, Baijal had agreed to only four. On the fifth – control of the bureaucracy – Baijal had, according to Kejriwal, cited the last paragraph of the judgement: “Matters be placed with the appropriate regular bench.”
The court’s judgement was given by a Constitution bench.
“Either you should take a position that all the matters now would be placed before regular bench and therefore, you would not implement any part of the order,” Kejriwal said in the letter. “Or you should accept the whole order and implement it. How can you say that you will accept this para of the order but not accept that para of the same order?”
Kejriwal said Baijal had agreed that government files need not be sent to him, that he is bound by the “aid and advice” of ministers, and that decisions do not need his concurrence.
Delhi’s bureaucracy was under the control of the elected government until 2015, when the Centre issued a notification placing those powers in the lieutenant governor’s hands. The notification sent Delhi into a power tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party government and the lieutenant governor’s office.
The Supreme Court, however, ruled on July 4 that the lieutenant governor is bound by the “aid and advice” of ministers. The real authority to make decisions lies with the elected government, not the lieutenant governor, the court said. After the judgement, Baijal allegedly refused to cede control of the bureaucracy, and officers said the 2015 notification still stands.