AAP vs LG: Delhi government paralysed as it can’t transfer officers, SC told

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India, File Photo

New Delhi, July 18: Amid an ongoing tussle with Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the Delhi government was paralysed because it could not transfer or post bureaucrats.

Senior Congress leader and advocate P. Chidambaram, appearing for the Delhi government, told a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Navin Sinha that it was an urgent issue and should be heard soon.

“Delhi government is paralysed today. We can’t transfer or post officers. What’s the purpose of Constitution bench judgement? It’s an urgent issue,” Chidambaram said.

The bench posted the matter for July 26 for hearing as the Lt Governor sought accommodation for a week.

The AAP government has sought an early disposal of all appeals filed by the Delhi government on the scope of its powers in view of the recent verdict by a Constitution bench.

The three-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud on July 4 ruled that the Lt Governor was bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

The bench has also ruled that the Lt Governor exercised no independent powers as the representative of the central government except in law and order, police and land. The Delhi government has the powers to legislate and govern on other issues.

The apex court had said that issues regarding various notifications issued by the Delhi government in exercise of its administrative and legislative powers would be dealt separately by an appropriate smaller bench.

After the Supreme Court ruling, the Arvind Kejriwal government had sent Baijal files recommending transfer and posting of officials. But the Lt Governor stonewalled it, saying the issue involving “Services” was yet to be decided.

Baijal said the Union Home Ministry had advised him to keep exercising powers over “Services” because the May 21, 2015 notification remained valid until a regular bench of the apex court decided on it.


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