AAP-LG standoff: Centre to rope in Harish Salve, other veteran lawyers to bolster Anil Baijal's legal defence

Centre has roped in three veteran lawyers – Harish Salve, CA Sundaram and Rakesh Dwivedi – to defend Delhi L-G Anil Baijal in a batch of upcoming cases.

FP Staff July 19, 2018 16:26:36 IST
AAP-LG standoff: Centre to rope in Harish Salve, other veteran lawyers to bolster Anil Baijal's legal defence

In a bid to bolster its case against the AAP-ruled Delhi government, the Centre has roped in three veteran lawyers – Harish Salve, CA Sundaram and Rakesh Dwivedi – to defend Delhi L-G Anil Baijal in a batch of upcoming cases in the Supreme Court, concerning the administrative hold over the National Capital.

AAPLG standoff Centre to rope in Harish Salve other veteran lawyers to bolster Anil Baijals legal defence

File image of Harish Salve. Wikimedia Commons

This comes just days after a Supreme Court ruling on the division of powers between the elected government and the L-G.

CNN-News18 reported that the three heavyweight lawyers will defend the L-G in a batch of cases concerning the retention of control by the central government over services, the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) and the transfer/posting of Delhi’s bureaucrats.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Union Territory Division, has written to the law ministry, apprising the latter of the decision to engage the three senior lawyers to lead the cases before a two-judge bench in the apex court, News18 reported.

Sources quoted by CNN-News18 said that after the Constitution Bench verdict, it was decided that the legal team required heavyweights to ward off any embarrassment and unfavourable orders against the L-G.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had unanimously ruled that the elected government has the real power in Delhi, and not the L-G. In a majority decision by a five-judge bench, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra made a number of observations in the fight for power in Delhi between the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government and the Centre, represented by the L-G.

Three of the five judges hearing the matter were of the opinion that the L-G cannot interfere in every decision of the elected government. The Supreme Court also emphasised that Delhi cannot have the powers of a full state — another demand of the AAP government. However, one of the key points the Supreme Court made in its judgment was that the L-G is "bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of the Government of Delhi".

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