As the deadlock between the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office and the Delhi government regarding who controls the services department continued on Monday with the two exchanging letters, the Delhi government said that it would approach the Supreme Court Tuesday.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused Baijal of “selectively” implementing the Supreme Court judgment, while Baijal reiterated that the government’s interpretation was “erroneous”and that Kejriwal was “selectively” quoting from his letter.
Delhi government counsel Rahul Mehra tweeted, “Will be mentioning the matter first thing tomorrow morning before Hon’ble SC with a request to dispose of all our appeals, including the one on ‘Services’ at the earliest possible.”
So far Kejriwal and the government have remained tight-lipped on whether or not they would approach the apex court. Party spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged, “This is a conspiracy to try and delay the government from being able to function with full freedom, with the ultimate aim of trying to keep matters in limbo until the model code of conduct comes into place before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.”
Since the Supreme Court verdict last Wednesday on the division of powers between the L-G and the Delhi government, the issue of the Services department has been a bone of contention.
Kejriwal said that the Centre and L-G’s interpretation regarding government’s executive powers was based on the last para that said, “Matter be placed before the appropriate bench”.
Kejriwal wrote, “However you refuse to implement …of the same judgment which say that executive powers of central government are limited to three subjects only…But how can you be selective in accepting the judgment?”
The Chief Minister argued that the Lieutenant Governor should either “take a position that all the matters now be placed before regular bench,” and hence no part of the order be implemented. “…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,” he wrote. The letter went on to break down the issues in the order into a table with the final point reading “reserved subjects” and adding, ‘L-G/Centre acceptance’ is not in agreement with the SC.
In response, Baijal reiterated that the government’s interpretation of the issue was wrong, adding that Kejriwal “quoted selectively” from his letter. Noting that before the letter reached his office, it “appeared on social and electronic media”, Baijal said that Kejriwal has “erroneously mentioned about selective implementation of the judgment” and noted that the chief minister had “quoted selectively” from his letter last Friday. Baijal reiterated the concluding para, while adding that the “entire judgement and its implications are still being studied.”