Home India Centre Defying Supreme Court, It Will Lead To Anarchy: Arvind Kejriwal

Centre Defying Supreme Court, It Will Lead To Anarchy: Arvind Kejriwal

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NEW DELHI: After a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal this evening, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the Centre of flouting the orders of the Supreme Court. Mr Baijal, he said, has refused to hand over the control of services to the Delhi government, arguing that the Supreme Court has not cancelled the 2015 government order that hands over services to the Lieutenant Governor. “They (the Centre and the BJP) have an interest in not letting the Delhi government work,” Mr Kejriwal said, citing Wednesday’s order that said the Lieutenant Governor has control only over land, police and public order.
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In his tweet, Mr Kejriwal said, “All of us should work together for the development of Delhi. Constitution is supreme. Orders of SC become the law of the land. They must be respected.”
The Chief Minister was responding to Mr Baijal, who tweeted to say that he has assured Mr Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia “of my continued support & cooperation in the interest of good governance & overall development of Delhi as per the letter and spirit of Constitution.”
Mr Baijal had agreed to the meeting after Mr Kejriwal wrote to him for his support, underlining that the elected government did not need his concurrence after the top court’s verdict. Citing the court order, which said the Lieutenant Governor has control only over land, police and public order, Mr Kejriwal also said violators will stand in contempt of court.
On Wednesday, a few hours after the Supreme Court verdict, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia signed off an order that authorize the chief minister to transfer officers. The top court, he said, had underscored that an elected government does not need a sign-off from the Lt Governor.
The bureaucrats, however, rejected the order, saying unless the 2015 government order is scrapped by the court or the Lt Governor, Mr Baijal remains in charge of the department. The Supreme Court, they contended, has not cancelled the government order that brought services under the control of the Lieutenant Governor.
In a Facebook post, Union minister Arun Jaitley said the Delhi government’s reading of the verdict — that the Supreme Court has given it administrative powers over union territory cadre officers — was “wholly erroneous”.
The court ruling, said Mr Jaitley, “does not either add to the powers of the state government or the central government nor does it in any way dilute them. It emphasises at the importance of elected state government, but Delhi being a union territory makes its powers subservient to the central government.”
Transfer and appointment of officials was one of the first flashpoints between Mr Kejriwal’s government and the Lieutenant Governor. Later, after a Central rule brought “services” under the Governor’s jurisdiction, it became a huge point of conflict that led to a face-off with the officials as well.
Last month, Mr Kejriwal said the officials have been on “strike” since an alleged attack on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash in February. Asking the Lieutenant Governor intervene in the matter, he held a sit-in strike for nine days in the waiting room of Mr Baijal.
In its order on Wednesday that was seen as a major victory for Mr Kejriwal, the Supreme Court said, “Real power must lie with the elected government in a democracy. The state should enjoy freedom, unsolicited interference”.

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