The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to get involved in yet another spat between the Centre and the Delhi government over yet another high-level appointment, that of BJP leader Karan Singh Tanwar as the member and vice-chairman of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
The HC was hearing a plea filed by AAP MLA Surender Singh, challenging Tanwar’s appointment, seeking quashing of the notification appointing him as the NDMC vice-chairman and a stay on the oath-taking ceremony.
The court of Justice V P Vaish declined to give any interim orders and issued notices to the Central government, NDMC, Delhi government and Tanwar, asking them to respond to Singh’s plea by September 3.
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During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General N K Kaul, appearing for the Central government, claimed that the Centre had sent several communications seeking the AAP government’s inputs on the issue, but it had failed to respond.
The argument was refuted by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, who appeared for the Delhi government and argued that the Centre had not given adequate time to the Delhi CM to give his opinion on the issue. “Mere communication is not the same as consultation,” he said.
Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, representing Surender Singh, argued that since the Delhi government and the Central government had both proposed different names for the position of NDMC vice-chairman, there should have been a “proper consultative process”.
The central government’s counsel, however, claimed that the AAP government was “trying to create a political battle” as it had initially not responded to the letters sent by the Home Ministry.
The ASG also said that the Delhi government had deliberately proposed a different name, only after the Centre suggested Tanwar’s appointment for the post.
The ASG also argued that “consultation” did not have to mean concurrence of opinion between the Centre and the state, and the Centre was “correct” in issuing the notification appointing Tanwar as member and vice-chairman of the NDMC as the post had remained vacant for several months.