In a major boost to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal, Supreme Court today said Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal does not have independent decision-making powers and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
In a major boost to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal, Supreme Court today said Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal does not have independent decision-making powers and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. The verdict, which virtually rejected the High Court’s judgement, also said that LG should not act in a mechanical manner and play the role of an “obstructionist”. The five-judge Constitution bench, which included Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A K Sikri and A M Khanwilkar, ruled that “there is no room for absolutism and there is no room for anarchism also.”
The LG-CM Kejriwal conflict began ever since the AAP came to the power and pitched for full statehood for Delhi. In due course of time, the contention reached the threshold of courts even as Kejriwal accused PM Modi and the Centre of creating roadblocks for his government. The situation did not change even when incumbent L-G Anil Baijal took charge from Najeeb Jung.
Take a look at the prolonged fight between Delhi CM Kejriwal and Jung and subsequently Baijal. While Jung became the L-G in July, 2013, Arvind Kejriwal became CM for the first time in December same year. Jan Lokpal Bill was cleared by the Delhi cabinet on February 3, 2014.
Delhi Chief Minister vs L-G: A timeline of the tussle since Kejriwal took office Najeeb Jung took charge as Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013.
April 1, 2015: Najeeb Jung says he is not obliged to send files to CM in response to Kejriwal’s order to route files related to police, public order and land through him.
April 29, 2015: Kejriwal tells officials not to ‘bother’ L-G with all the files.
May 16, 2015: Kejriwal accuses IAS officer Shakuntala Gamlin of lobbying for power companies.
May 20, 2015: Jung annuls all bureaucratic postings by Delhi government and says that power to appoint and transfer rests with him.
June 2, 2015: Five officers of Bihar Police joins Delhi Government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB). Jung rejects it saying he is the ACB boss.
June 8, 2015: Jung names Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police MK Meena new chief of ACB. Kejriwal protests strongly.
June 9, 2015: Delhi government replaces Home Secretary Dharam Pal. L-G vetoes order.
July 20/21, 2015: Delhi government appoints Swati Maliwal as Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson. Najeeb Jung asks why his approval was not taken.
August 1, 2015: Kejriwal hikes circle rates in Delhi for agricultural land. Jung objects to the decision.
Aug 11, 2015: Delhi government forms Commission of Inquiry to probe CNG fitness scam. The L-G again objects.
December 1, 2015: AAP government sets up Inquiry Commission to probe Delhi and District Cricket Association. Najeeb Jung questions its validity.
Dec 15, 2015: CBI raids Chief Minister’s Office. Kejriwal blames Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Najeeb Jung for it.
December 31, 2015: IAS and DANICS officers go on leave a day before flagship odd-even scheme.
January 1, 2016: Kejriwal blames LG, Centre for strike. Odd-even scheme a success.
March 2016: AAP government appoints former Chief Income Tax Commissioner Krishna Saini as Chairperson of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission.
June 1, 2016: ACB probes Delhi government’s app-based Premium Bus Service.
June 20, 2016: ACB files FIR against Arvind Kejriwal and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in water tanker scam after Jung’s okay.
August 4, 2016: Delhi High Court says that LG is the administrative head of National Capital Territory and AAP government’s contention that he is bound to act on the advice of Council of Ministers was “without substance”. AAP government moves Supreme Court.
August 30, 2016: Jung axes Delhi Health Secretary and PWD Secretary. Kejriwal says PM Modi hell-bent on destroying Delhi through Najeeb Jung.
August 30, 2016: Jung sets up a panel to probe over 400 files related to decisions taken by Delhi government. Kejriwal calls it illegal.
September 16, 2016: After chikungunya outbreak, Jung asks Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to return from Finland.
September 17, 2016: Jung refuses to meet AAP ministers.
October 7, 2016: Jung appoints IAS officer Alka Diwan as DCW Member Secretary. Diwan stops payment of salaries to contractual employees of DCW. Kejriwal seeks her removal.
December 6, 2016: Najeeb Jung replaces Diwan with IAS officer Dilraj Kaur. Kejriwal rejects the move and calls Jung “Hitler”.
After sudden resignation of Jung, Anil Baijal became the 21st Lieutenant Governor of Delhi in December, 2016. From there on, the fight that ensued between Jung and Kejriwal, escalated between Baijal and the AAP Chief. The matter reached the threshold of Parliament.
In March 2018, Lt Governor Anil Baijal haD rejected the Delhi government’s proposal for doorstep delivery of ration. CM Kejriwal had hit back alleging that the “important” measure had fallen victim to “petty politics”.
The slugfest took a nasty turn in May as Baijal and Kejriwal exchanged tweets and letters over AAP government’s ambitious project of istalling 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras in the city.
In June, the controversial stand off between the AAP government and IAS officers in Delhi ended with CM Kejriwal calling off the nine-day sit-in at the LG’s office after bureaucrats started attending meeting with ministers.
Meanwhile, Delhi High Court had ruled in favour of L-G, a decision which was later challenged in the Supreme Court.
On July 4, the Supreme Court ruled that the LG needs to work harmoniously with the Council of Ministers and an attempt should be made to settle the difference of opinion through discussions.