A day after the Supreme Court clipped the powers of the LG, the Delhi government and bureaucrats remained on opposite sides of the administrative fence with the AAP leadership saying it is likely to move a contempt petition against those who had refused to comply with its directive on transfers and postings.
Hours after the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment, which said the LG is bound by the elected government’s advice and cannot be an “obstructionist”, the Delhi government on Wednesday introduced a new system for transfer and postings of bureaucrats, making Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal the approving authority.
However, the services department refused to comply, saying the Supreme Court did not abolish the notification issued in 2016 which made the Ministry of Home Affairs the authority for transfers and postings. The government is exploring legal options and is likely to move a “contempt petition” before the Supreme Court on the matter, said a government spokesperson. The chief minister and his deputy Manish Sisodia appealed to officials and the Centre to abide by the judgment of the apex court and get down to work for development of the city.
Kejriwal requested all stakeholders to implement the Supreme Court order on the distribution of powers between the Delhi government and the LG and said the verdict had clearly demarcated the areas of power sharing.
The Supreme Court has in “clear terms” stated the powers of the Delhi government, the central government and the LG, he said. Police, public and land are under control of the LG, and the Delhi government has executive powers on other subjects, the chief minister told reporters.
Sisodia echoed him. “I want to appeal to all the stakeholders to implement the order and work together for the development of Delhi. Sought time to meet Hon’ble LG today to seek his support and cooperation in the implementation of the order of Hon’ble SC and in the development of Delhi,” Sisodia wrote on Twitter.
He said the chief secretary had written to him, saying the services department would not follow the orders. “If they are not going to abide by it and the transfer files will still be seen by the LG then it will amount to contempt of the constitution bench,” Sisodia told reporters.
“We are consulting our lawyers about what can be done in the situation,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court had clearly stated that the LG has the power to interfere only in three subjects, which does not include the services department. “I appeal to the officers as well as the Centre to abide by the Supreme Court judgment,” Sisodia said.
The verdict on Wednesday said LG has no “independent decision making power” and has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government. The judgment by a five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, laid down broad parameters for the governance of the national capital, which has witnessed a bitter power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government since the Aam Aadmi Party government first came to power in 2014.