For the first time in India’s history, the Centre and the “Constitutional authority” of L-G Anil Baijal were “openly disobeying” the Supreme Court’s order, said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday on Baijal’s refusal to hand over control of the services department to the government. He added that such “clear contempt” of the apex court would “lead to anarchy”.
On Wednesday, hours after the SC verdict on the division of powers between the L-G and the elected government, the latter issued orders restoring the power of transferring bureaucrats and officers to the CM — a move rejected by the services department.
During the meeting between Baijal and Kejriwal on Friday, the L-G agreed that Cabinet decisions no longer needed his consent. Services, however, was a different matter. In response, Kejriwal didn’t rule out filing a plea in the court, adding that a decision will be taken after discussions with lawyers, officials and party members.
“The Supreme Court has clearly said that barring three subjects — police, land and public order — executive power of all subjects are with the elected government of Delhi. It is there in clear words and we told the L-G this, but he denied it,” claimed Kejriwal. He added that as per the MHA, its May 2015 notification handing control of services to the L-G is yet to be quashed.
Accusing the Centre and the L-G of being in “contempt of the SC’s orders”, Kejriwal said, “The L-G said he is a representative of the MHA and the President. To which we replied that no one is above the Supreme Court, not even the MHA. I think that this is the first time in the history of India that a Central government (is) openly disobeying the SC’s order. If this becomes a precedent… there will be anarchy in the country.”
He also pointed out that the SC order “automatically quashed” all previous orders that were against it, and that the L-G’s argument was a politically motivated attempt to “confuse”. He also argued that it is in the political interests of the BJP to appoint officers “who don’t work” or “don’t allow work”.
“The BJP wants to win next time. They want that the AAP government shouldn’t work, so if an officer is doing good work, he will get removed,” said the CM. Stating the importance of the department, Kejriwal added, “The services department is critical. Through the department, they can disrupt the government… the way they ensured that IAS officers were on strike for four months. This is because they are in control.”
Deputy CM Sisodia said the education department was without a director. “If you want to derail a department, do it through the Services department,” he said.