In its verdict on the Centre versus AAP tussle, the two-judge Supreme Court bench packed in a word of advice for the LG and the Delhi government, known to be at loggerheads over several issues.
The judges said the LG is expected to honour the wisdom of the ministers and not sit over their decisions. “That is a facet of good governance. By and large it demands a mutual respect between the two organs. They are here to serve the Delhi citizens.”
The top court was delivering its verdict on a bunch of petitions challenging notifications issued by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government amid the power tussle between the Centre and Delhi. (Follow live updates here)
The key issues under consideration were the control over services — the power to appoint, post and transfer officials in Delhi administration– power to set up commission of inquiry, and control over the anti-corruption bureau.
“LG is not expected to differ routinely but in cogent cases. There may be contingencies where LG and ministers may differ, LG is supposed to refer the difference to President,” the judges added.
The LG and the Delhi government have often disagreed on the powers of each with the chief minister sitting on a dharna at LG Anil Baijal’s office last year as the IAS officers in Delhi were not attending the meetings called by the Delhi ministers. He called off the sit-in after the IAS officers started attending meetings with ministers.
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The AAP government also had run ins with the former LG Najeeb Jung also. The conflicts stems from the status of Delhi, which is a Union Territory and not a full state. As a result, the Delhi government does not have control over land, appointment of senior officers and the police force. These three are controlled by the L-G.
In Thursday’s verdict, the top court ruled in favour of Centre on two issues – the key Anti-Corruption Bureau issue and the power to institute commission of enquiry.
Electricity and revenue departments (fixing of circle rates), posting and transfer of Grade 3 and Grade 4 officers, appointing special public prosecutor and appointment of directors in discoms will come under Delhi government.
First Published: Feb 14, 2019 13:19 IST