Kejriwal Govt moves SC alleging Centre blocking transfer of top officer
NEW DELHI : Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has sought contempt action against L-G, a day after the big SC verdict. Arvind Kejriwal has alleged that the L-G is again disrupting the work of the government. This comes a day after the SC gave a verdict in favour of the Kejriwal Government and said that the elected Government has the power to decide. Centre has been given the power to decide issues on land, police and public order.
Delhi’s AAP-led government on Friday moved the Supreme Court alleging that the Centre is not implementing the transfer of its services secretary and there could be contempt of the apex court order delivered just a day earlier. On Thursday, the apex court ruled that the Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over the administration of services, except for public order, police and land.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, mentioned the matter before Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha, saying the top court delivered the judgment just yesterday and the centre now appeared to be defying it.Chief Justice Chandrachud said he will list the case next week. “They are saying we will not transfer anybody. I can file contempt in view of judgement passed yesterday. But it will take time. So kindly list the matter,” he said.
Hours after the judgment, the Kejriwal government removed the Secretary of the Delhi government’s services department, Ashish More. Former Delhi Jal Board CEO A K Singh, a 1995-batch (AGMUT cadre) IAS officer, will replace More.The city’s government said the centre may be held liable for contempt of court.
Sources in the central government, however, denied the charge and claimed that implementing the Supreme Court’s directions would need for the centre’s notification to be withdrawn.”To implement Supreme Court directions, notification issued by the centre needs to be withdrawn. Then only new directives would set in,” a senior officer said, adding that Mr Kejriwal appeared to be “in a hurry for no reason”. “It’s a process which is being complied with, and it is being done. What is the hurry?” he said, requesting not to be named.
“Court orders are clear and the Home Ministry notification automatically becomes in fructuous. There is a deliberate delay by the centre to implement the court’s order,” the officer said. In a big win for the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in a unanimous verdict gave the Delhi assembly powers to legislate to represent the will of the people.
In a democratic form of governance, the real power of administration must rest on the elected arm of government, said the bench, adding that the central government’s power in matters in which both the Centre and states can legislate “is limited to ensure that the governance is not taken over by the Central government”. Before the verdict of the court, the Services Department was under the control of Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor.