Hours after Supreme Court ruling on the turf war between Centre and the Delhi government came out, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed his disappointment with the judgment in strong terms, remarking that it was against the people, the Constitution and democracy. The apex court, in its verdict, upheld the stand of the Lieutenant Governor on most issues that it dealt with.
In a press conference on Thursday, Kejriwal said, "If the government has no powers, how will it function? We have been suffering in this situation for the past four years. If the government does not have control over bureaucrats, how will Manish Sisodia run schools, and how will Satyender Jain run mohalla clinics? These are aspects for which the government has received praise."
Kejriwal also reacted to the apex court putting the Anti-Corruption Bureau under Centre's ambit. He said, "For the past forty years, the ACB had been under the Delhi government. The verdict now says that it is not so. If someone comes to me with a complaint of corruption, what should I do as the chief minister? Do I ask them to go to the Opposition (BJP), which has just 3 MLAs?"
In its verdict, the apex court gave the L-G control over the ACB and also upheld the Centre's notification that its employees cannot be probed in corruption cases by ACB of Delhi government.
However, the top court also said that instead of the L-G, the Delhi government will have the right to appoint public prosecutors or law officers.
With respect to transfers and postings of officers of and above the rank of Joint Secretary, the two judges comprising the Supreme Court bench differed in their views. Justice AK Sikri held that transfers and posting of officers of and above the rank of Joint Secretary are under the powers of the Lieutenant Governor, whereas other officers below the aforementioned rank are under the control of Delhi government, Live Law reported. However, Justice Ashok Bhushan dissented from Justice Sikri, and held that all the officers fall under the domain of the Central government.
Hitting out at Kejriwal's comments, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra accused him of insulting the Supreme Court and said, "Today, Arvind Kejriwal didn't hold a press conference, he issued a contempt of court conference." He also said that Kejriwal has now aligned with leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi and Sharad Pawar, whom he had opposed before. Patra remarked, "Now you're standing with them to 'save democracy' and are criticising the Supreme Court at the same time?"
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 14, 2019 14:06:25 IST