Delhi L-G vs AAP Govt: Anomalous situation, says SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday described the tug-of-war between Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government and the Lieutenant Governor for control over services as “interesting...anomalous”.

uttara@tribuneindia.com

Satya Prakash
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 30

The Supreme Court on Thursday described the tug-of-war between Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government and the Lieutenant Governor for control over services as “interesting...anomalous”. 

“This is a very interesting situation…rather anomalous situation…They (Centre through Lt Governor) have the police and you (Delhi Government) have the police station (ACB),” a Bench headed by Justice AK Sikri told senior counsel Shekhar Nafade after he said the elected government had legitimate control over the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The Bench is hearing individual cases of disputes between Delhi -LG and the elected government after a five-judge Constitution Bench marked the broad contours of the constitutional relations between the two sides in a judgement in July. The two sides having been fighting pitched battles over sharing of powers ever since AAP took control of Delhi government in 2015.

The Supreme Court is hearing the case after the AAP government appealed Delhi High Court’s August 2016 ruling that declared L-G was the administrative head of NCT Delhi.

Nafade attacked two notifications issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2014 and 2015 that sought to take central government employees out of ACB’s jurisdiction. He said it was an arbitrary action and violated Article 14 (right to equality) as it created two classes of government employees—one that could be prosecuted by ACB and the another that the ACB could not take any action against.

“This kind of classification is wrong,” he said.

Earliar, senior counsel P Chidambaram, representing the Delhi Government, submitted that cadre allocation of central services was the Centre’s job but such bureaucrats’ posting had to be done by the state governments. 

Chidambaram had on Wednesday said DANICS and DANIPS officers were not controlled by the Centre through the L-G as long as they were posted in the national capital.

The L-G cannot control or order the transfer and posting of such officers, he had contended.
"DANICS and DANIPS are common cadre and the cadre rules say that they will be controlled by the Delhi government as long as they are posted in the national capital. The LG does not control the services. He cannot control or order their transfer or postings," Chidambaram maintained.

The hearing would resume next week.

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