Home India AAP Government’s First Order After Top Court Victory Rejected: 10 Points

AAP Government’s First Order After Top Court Victory Rejected: 10 Points

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NEW DELHI: A day after the Supreme Court ruled that Arvind Kejriwal’s government in Delhi doesn’t need the Lieutenant Governor’s sign-off on every decision, a furious Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) threatened to go to court because its latest order has been rejected by bureaucrats as “legally incorrect”. Hours after the court ruling, which was described by AAP as a major victory, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia put out orders taking back the power to transfer officers, but the services department has rejected it, saying that the Lt Governor remains in charge of this key department.
Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
Manish Sisodia’s first move after the Supreme Court verdict on wednesday was to send a file to Secretary (Services), authorizing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to transfer officers instead of Lt Governor Anil Baijal. The file was sent back the same evening with a detailed note that called Mr Sisodia’s order legally untenable.
“The chief secretary has written to me saying the services department will not follow the orders. If they are not going to abide by it and the transfer files will still be seen by the LG then it will amount to contempt of the constitution bench. We are consulting our lawyers,” Mr Sisodia said today.
The note from the Services department said the Supreme Court has not yet cancelled a union home ministry notification in May 2015 – months after AAP swept the elections and took power – assigning the job of transferring and posting bureaucrats to the Lieutenant governor.
This means despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, officials are firm that the Delhi government still has any role only in the movement of personnel at a lower level, like stenos. Officials say the subject is still being decided by the Supreme Court, so the Kejriwal government cannot jump the gun.
In a series of tweets this morning, AAP said: “The LG can’t do transfers as per orders of the Supreme Court and the officers insist they will not obey (Mr Sisodia’s) orders till the home ministry notification explicitly quashed. So, will there be no transfer orders in Delhi from now till decision of Division Bench?”
The Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the Lt Governor has no “independent decision-making power” beyond land, police and public order, and has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government, which has the real power.
“The Supreme Court had clearly stated in its order yesterday that only land, police and public order come under the centre. This means the centre has no authority is other areas,” says AAP.
An AAP leader said if the Lt Governor continued to sign on files on transfers and postings, “it will be against the court order and the Delhi government will go to court on grounds of contempt.”
The services department has been a key trigger for the AAP-Lt Governor feud in the past three years. The first major face-off was over the Lt Governor appointing bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as interim chief secretary despite strong objections from Mr Kejriwal and AAP. Since then, Mr Kejriwal and his ministers have routinely objected to officials being posted or shifted without the Lt Governor consulting the Delhi government.
AAP considering to a big win when the top court said “The cabinet must convey all decisions to the Lieutenant Governor but his concurrence is not required in all matters.” The court also said the Lt Governor must not be “obstructionist” and “should not act in a mechanical manner and stall decisions of the Delhi cabinet”.

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