NEW DELHI: A day after the Supreme Court ruled that executive powers, except for law and order, police and land, were vested in the elected government, the jostling for supremacy in Delhi escalated on Thursday with the Aam Aadmi Party government taking on the bureaucrats.
Following the court verdict, Delhi government said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, and not the lieutenant governor, was the approving authority on the transfers and posting of officers from the IAS and other cadres. With the officers refusing to accept the new protocol, the state government threatened to file contempt of court cases if they did not follow its orders.
The wrangling is likely to escalate on Friday as the AAP government is keen to issue fresh orders regarding the implementation of public welfare schemes. Kejriwal is scheduled to meet the LG at 3pm on Friday.
In a move aimed at underlining the new equations, Kejriwal wrote a letter to LG Anil Baijal on Thursday claiming that the executive powers related to ‘services’, that is, the bureaucracy, lay with the council of ministers. “I am sure LG will never like to knowingly commit contempt of SC,” the CM remarked.
He added that the Union home ministry’s notification of May 2015 giving the LG control over transfer and postings of bureaucrats “has not been quashed specifically, which shall now be done by the Division Bench of SC. However, the said notification becomes infructuous in the light of such clear orders of SC.”
Union minister Arun Jaitley took on these issues in a blog, saying that the government in Delhi, being that of a Union territory, was subservient to the central government, with the Supreme Court categorical that Delhi wasn’t at par with other states. “Any presumption that the administration of the UT cadre of services has been decided in favour of Delhi Government would be wholly erroneous,” Jaitley wrote.
Earlier, Kejriwal took to Twitter to advise the officers “to respect and obey the SC order because open defiance of the SC order would invite serious consequences which will be in no one’s interest”.