Hours after the Supreme Court ruled that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) has no “independent decision-making power” and that he has to work on the aid and advice of the Cabinet, an elated Kejriwal-led government hailed the judgment as a “big victory for Delhi and democracy.” Accusing the Modi government of wasting “precious three years” of Delhi, Kejriwal held a cabinet meeting in which it announced expediting the implementation of key projects that the party had promised.
While the Delhi BJP said the verdict established that the Constitution is the “boss” and asked AAP to shun its “anarchy,” the Congress said the judgment should end “blame game” between the Centre and state government in Delhi.
Here is all that happened since the Supreme Court’s verdict
* What the apex court said on Delhi CM vs LG
Putting an end to the power tussle in the national capital, the five-judge bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra ruled that the Delhi government does not need the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor for its decisions but has to only keep him posted. The LG should not act as an “adversary having a hostile attitude” towards the government but act as a facilitator. “The LG and the council of ministers must attempt to settle any point of difference by way of discussion and dialogue,” it said.
* AAP calls for cabinet meet, discusses flagship projects
Soon after the verdict, the Kejriwal government who termed it as a “huge win” called for a cabinet meeting to discuss on the key developmental projects in Delhi. Projects like doorstep delivery of ration, installation of CCTV cameras, regularisation of contractual employees, the appointment of teachers were discussed and will be expedited after the apex court’s order.
Delhi government’s flagship project — Mohalla clinics — may get a boost after the SC verdict. According to AAP sources, the Delhi Cabinet in 2016 had approved a health insurance scheme. The proposal was, however, “virtually rejected” by the Lt-Governor. The party had also promised the creation of 1,000 mohalla clinics before the elections. However, there are only 164 clinics and the problem, AAP has claimed, was interference from the L-G.
* Kejriwal’s proposal for transfer of power rejected
Arvind Kejriwal also pushed for a new system for transfer and postings of bureaucrats. In a file sent to Secretary (Services), the AAP government made Kejriwal as the approving authority for transfer and postings of bureaucrats. The bureaucrats, however, claimed that ‘services matter’ still lies with the office of Lt Governor because Delhi is a union territory and refused to carry out the order. So far, the Lieutenant Governor has been the approving authority for transfers and postings of the IAS and DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services) officers.
* BJP, Congress welcome judgment, asks AAP to work for Delhi’s development
The BJP said the court order is a “final warning” to the Kejriwal government to work as per the rules. “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court establishes that the Constitution is the boss in Delhi, and elsewhere in the country. It is also a final warning to the Kejriwal government to shun anarchism and follow the Constitution,” said Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari. He also claimed that the court has clarified that Delhi is the national capital and cannot have full statehood.
Express Explained | Delhi power tussle: Between the court’s lines
Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said, “After the SC verdict, there should not be any charges and counter-charges by CM Kejriwal and the L-G. We now expect that more hospitals will be opened and that the Lokpal Bill, placed in the Vidhan Sabha in February 2014, will be passed; not the diluted one. But if the chief minister continues to say that files are pending with the L-G, as they did in the case of doorstep delivery of services and CCTV, then nothing will happen.”
* SC verdict has a spillover effect on Puducherry
Soon after the Supreme Court’s verdict, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayansamy who is locked in a power tussle with the Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi threatened contempt proceedings if the judgment was not followed in the Union territory. Narayanasamy said the order proves that whatever he has been writing to the Prime Minister and Union Ministry of Home Affairs for the past two years is true. “Prime Minister never replied to my letters. Home Minister never acted on them. Now the time has come for us to fulfill the projects we promised. We thank the judiciary. L-G Bedi cannot come up with any more hindrances,” he said. “Whoever functions contrary to the judgment now delivered by the apex court would face serious action. I myself would file a contempt petition against those failing to act in consonance with the supreme court verdict,” the Congress leader said.