Supreme Court to hear petition over power of transfers and postings of Delhi officers next week

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to list for next week a plea moved by the Delhi government to clarify the issue of transfers and postings in the city administration which has become a bone of contention between the AAP dispensation and the Lieutenant Governor's office after its recent judgement on the governance of the national capital.

"It will be listed sometime in next week," a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said.

The issue was mentioned before the bench by Delhi government lawyer Rahul Mehra who said even after the 4 July ruling, the stalemate over the issue of public services was continuing and it needed to be dealt with by an appropriate bench.

A view of Supreme Court of India. PTI

A view of Supreme Court of India. PTI

The apex court in its verdict had said that all the pending appeals relating to the conflict between the Delhi government and the Centre would be heard by an appropriate bench later.

The five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had held that the L-G has no independent power to make decisions and is bound by the elected government's advice.

It had also laid down broad parameters for the governance of the national capital, which has witnessed a power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government since AAP came to power in 2014.

The bench had clarified that issues regarding various notifications issued by the Delhi government in the exercise of its administrative and legislative powers would be dealt with separately by an appropriate smaller bench. It had said that barring three issues of public order, police and land, the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern on other issues.

There were two L-Gs — incumbent Anil Baijal and his predecessor Najeeb Jung — with whom Kejriwal was at loggerheads, accusing them of preventing the functioning of his government at the behest of the Centre.

Some of the contentious issues were the jurisdiction over the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), panels to inquire the CNG fitness scam, alleged irregularities in cricketing body DDCA and appointment of nominee directors of Delhi government on the Board of power distribution companies.

All such issues would now be deliberated upon by the apex court's smaller benches on the basis of the July 4 verdict.

The Delhi High Court, in its 4 August 2016 verdict over the power tussle between the LG and the AAP government, had struck down most of the decisions of the Kejriwal-led government forcing it to move the apex court.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a notification on 21 May, 2015 barring the ACB from proceeding against central government employees, saying it shall not take any cognizance of the offences against the Centre's officers, employees and functionaries.

This decision was upheld by the Delhi High Court, saying it was in accordance with the constitutional scheme and warranted no interference.

The High Court bench, headed by then Chief Justice G Rohini, had also held the appointment of commissions by the AAP government on 11 August, 2015 and 22 December, 2015 to probe into the CNG fitness scam in the transport department and alleged irregularities in the DDCA, as illegal saying they were done without the L-G's concurrence.

The high court did not approve of the AAP government's decision to appoint its nominees as directors on the boards of private DISCOMS on the ground that there was "huge" corruption in their functioning.

It also termed as "illegal and unconstitutional" the policy decision of the city government empowering the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission to impose a fine on the DISCOMS in the event of disruption of power supply on the ground that the L-G was not on board.

The AAP government's decision to revise stamp duty rates for sale and transfer of agriculture land was also struck down. "The notification dated 4 August, 2015 issued by the Government of NCT of Delhi, Revenue Department revising the minimum rates for the purpose of chargeability of stamp duty on the instruments related to sale/transfer of agriculture land is illegal since the said notification was issued without seeking the views/concurrence of the L-G as required under the constitutional scheme," the high court had said.

Besides these, other issues raised between the L-G and AAP government included one relating to the installation of CCTV cameras over which Kejriwal and his ministers sat on a 'dharna' near L-G's office in May this year, accusing him of stalling the government's ambitious project to install 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras across the city.

Earlier this year, another issue had cropped up in which the AAP government had accused Baijal of “stalling” the constitution of the Delhi Waqf Board, which was dissolved in October 2016 on charges of “irregularities” by the former L-G.


Updated Date: Jul 11, 2018 07:39 AM

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