SC verdict on AAP-Centre power tussle: Manish Sisodia says bureaucrats must accept judgment, adhere to it

The power tussle between Delhi's lieutenant-governor and the state government is far from over. A day after the Supreme Court pronounced that the elected government has the real power in Delhi, not Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia addressed a press conference in the National Capital and said bureaucrats must accept the judgment and adhere to the order.

His comments came after the services department said that since the apex court did not abolish the notification issued in 2016, and they did not receive any formal order form the Ministry of Home Affairs, they would not follow Sisodia's order. On Wednesday, he had announced that transfer decisions will be taken by Delhi government.

Manish Sisodia

File image of Delhi deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia. PTI

"I want to reiterate that the Constitution bench made three things clear. They said that the Centre has power on three subjects. They also clarified it doesn't have power over any other subject. The court mentioned that in the case of transfer decisions, it is the Delhi Legislative Assembly or ministers who have the power. There is no doubt about that," Sisodia said.

On Wednesday, 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 Aam Aadmi Party government and the Centre, represented by 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.

Sisodia on Wednesday thanked the court for the "landmark" decision and had said, "Now, Delhi government will not have to send their files to L-G for approval. Now, work will not be stalled."

Criticising the services department's statement, Sisodia said: "If the L-G does not have powers, officers refuse to sign files, how will the Delhi government function?"

"It is possible that L-G saab and some officers didn't like it (court order) but a court's orders are not limited or restricted to what people like or dislike," he said.

"It is bound by law. If the court orders something, you have to accept it. Two years ago, the Delhi High Court didn't rule in the Delhi government's favour. Even then, we said we will respect the law and approach the Supreme Court. Every citizen and organisation has to accept the Constitution bench's decision. How can they reject it?" Sisodia asked.

He also cited the Supreme Court judgment which appealed for cooperation between the Delhi government and the L-G. The Supreme Court noted that the L-G must work harmoniously with the state, and the L-G and council of ministers have to be constantly aligned.

The apex court handed a major victory to Delhi's AAP government in its bitter power tussle with the Centre by ruling that the L-G had no independent power to take decisions and was bound by the elected government's advice. The ruling held that the L-G, who is appointed by the Centre, cannot act as an "obstructionist."

It also laid down for the first time clear guidelines for the L-G's conduct, and delineated the powers of the two branches of the executive in Delhi, which does not have the status of a full state yet and elects its own MLAs and government.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Jul 05, 2018 12:09 PM

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