The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi is set to move the Supreme Court seeking disposal of its pleas including the one on Services.
The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi is set to move the Supreme Court seeking disposal of its pleas including the one on Services that has been the bone of contention between the city government and Lieutenant Governor. This comes a day after both the government and L-G spar over who holds the power to transfer and post officers in the national capital. While Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sent a letter to Anil Baijal urging to “fully implement the apex court order giving primacy to the Delhi government”, the L-G responded that appeals were pending before a regular bench in the top court and “not to draw premature conclusions”.
Delhi government counsel Rahul Mehra informed that the government has decided to move the Supreme Court seeking disposal of its plea on the matter. “Will be mentioning the matter first thing tomorrow (Tuesday) morning before the Supreme Court with a request to dispose of all our appeals, including the one on ‘Services’ at the earliest possible.”
On Monday, Kejriwal accused Anil Baijal of selectively accepting of the Supreme Court’s last week ruling. He said that the court’s order makes it clear that the executive powers of Centre are limited to three subjects only (land, police and public order)”.
“But how can you be selective in accepting the judgment?” the CM said.
The AAP has been arguing that the SC’ order strikes down the Home Ministry’s 2015 notification which transferred the power to transfer officials under the L-G domain and the quashing of the “order” by a division bench is just a technicality. However, senior officials are of the view that since the matter is being heard by a division bench, it is not possible to issue an order bringing Services under the Delhi government.
Responding to the CM’s letter, the L-G reiterated that the government’s interpretation of the issue was “wrong”. He said that before the letter reached his office, it was released to media. He also said that the CM has “erroneously mentioned about selective implementation of the judgment” and noted that the he had quoted selectively from his Friday letter.
The Services department has been a bone of contention between the CM and L-G for last three years. The controversy started in May 2015 after L-G appointed principal secretary (power) Shakuntala Gamlin as an interim chief secretary in the absence of KK Sharma. Again in August 2016, the L-G again replaced two senior officials in PWD and Health without consulting the CM. The L-G’s orders invited sharp criticism from Kejriwal and his colleagues who termed the orders “illegal”. This was followed by a series of CBI raids on AAP leaders and arrest of CM’s PS Rajendra Kumar in a graft case.