A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court in its order on the Aam Aadmi Party versus Centre case, is divided on Services—the power to appoint, post and transfer officials in Delhi administration— but agreed on Centre having control over Anti-Corruption Branch in Delhi.
The services issue has been sent to a larger bench.
Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had ended hearings arguments on the nine petitions around the power tussle between the centre and the Arvind Kejriwal government nearly three months back. Last month when AAP government’s senior lawyer Indira Jaising pleaded for an early verdict, the judges reassured her that the verdict would be out “very soon”.
The top court’s constitution bench, which had taken a hard look at the relationship between the Centre and the elected government, had last year marked the broad contours. This judgment had ruled that the city’s Lieutenant Governor did not have independent decision-making powers and the real power had to lie with the elected government.
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The July verdict drew the red lines for the Lieutenant Governor. But it was left for the two-judge bench to deal with appeals as to who controls services – the power to appoint, post and transfer officials – in Delhi administration, the anti-corruption bureau and has the power to appoint a commission of inquiry.
Soon enough, the Aam Aadmi Party, which had hoped for getting back control over the anti-corruption branch and the power to appoint officials in the city government, was corrected by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
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AAP’s Delhi government and the BJP-led national coalition have been fighting pitched battles over sharing of power soon after Arvind Kejriwal returned as chief minister in 2015. AAP had won 67 of 70 seats in Delhi assembly, reducing the BJP to only three. Arvind Kejriwal alleges that the BJP-led government at the Centre has since been exacting revenge, withdrawing its powers and blocking decision taken by the AAP government.
First Published: Feb 14, 2019 10:33 IST