Soon after the Supreme Court drew a line for Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal in the matters of governance giving an edge to the elected Arvind Kejriwal government, the chief minister held a cabinet meeting and issued a series of directives. One of these directives was sent to Secretary (Services) regarding transfer of officials.
By late evening, informed sources said, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s office received a note from the Secretary (Services) expressing regret to carry out the order. Manish Sisodia also holds the portfolio of Services. The officer’s note cited May 21, 2015 notification issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for not implementing the transfer order.
The notification states that the matters related to Services fall under the jurisdiction of the LG. The note says that unless the MHA notification “is quashed” by the Supreme Court, it still “stands” in force. It argues that the MHA notification had been issued “in the name of the President” and has not been withdrawn by the Centre.
Interestingly, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the Delhi LG did not have independent decision-making powers. Delhi LG has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government or on the direction of the President.
The court also held that the Kejriwal government did not require “concurrence” of the LG to carry out its decisions. The Supreme Court in its judgment ruled that only the matters related to land, police and public order fell under the jurisdiction of the Delhi LG.
However, the court did not take a clear stand on the 2015 notification of the MHA that had been a bone of contention between the Centre and the Kejriwal government.
The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra laid down only broad parameters for the governance of Delhi, which has been a theatre of bitter power tussle between the Centre and AAP government.
Also read | 10 vantage points for Kejriwal in Supreme Court judgment
A timeline of Kejriwal-LG power tussle