Delhi govt vs Centre: Onus on both to prioritise interests of residents - The Tribune India

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Delhi govt vs Centre

Onus on both to prioritise interests of residents

Delhi govt vs Centre

THE Supreme Court has resolved an eight-year-old dispute between the Centre and the Delhi government by ruling that the latter has legislative and executive powers over administration of services, except for public order, police and land. - File photo



THE Supreme Court has resolved an eight-year-old dispute between the Centre and the Delhi government by ruling that the latter has legislative and executive powers over administration of services, except for public order, police and land. The apex court has made it clear that an elected government needs to have control over bureaucrats, ‘failing which the principle of collective responsibility would be adversely affected’. The judgment has buoyed the AAP dispensation, which has had several run-ins with the Centre’s appointee, the Lieutenant Governor. These bitter confrontations have adversely impacted governance in the National Capital Territory Delhi (NCTD) over the past eight years.

Invoking the spirit of cooperative federalism and highlighting the unique federal model of the NCTD, the court has cautioned the Centre to exercise its powers within the boundaries defined by the Constitution. Empowered by the ruling, the Delhi government has set in motion the process to carry out a major administrative reshuffle. The very first move, however, has run into trouble, with the AAP government moving the Supreme Court, alleging that the Centre is stalling the transfer of the secretary of the Services Department.

With their respective powers clearly delineated by the court, the two governments should avoid stepping on each other’s toes. The onus is on the CM and the L-G to work in close coordination to ensure that public works are executed smoothly in a time-bound manner. The AAP government, which finds itself on a sticky wicket over the excise policy scam, would be well advised to prioritise the interests of Delhi’s residents while transferring and posting officers. Considering the slew of civic challenges faced by the national capital, vendetta politics should not be allowed to impede development projects. After all, both the NCTD government and the Centre have high stakes in Delhi.


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