Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal saying ‘services’ matter lies with the Council of Ministers, after officers refused to follow the Aam Aadmi Party dispensation’s order withdrawing powers of transfer and postings from the L-G.
The letter comes a day after the Supreme Court in its verdict on the power tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre clipped the powers of the L-G.
The AAP government now plans to issue an order regarding implementation of public welfare schemes and the court’s verdict to all its functionaries.
In his letter to Baijal, the chief minister said that L-G’s concurrence would now not be required on any matter, adding all stakeholders need to work towards implementing the apex court’s order in “letter and spirit”.
Hours after the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment on Wednesday, the government introduced a new system for transfer and postings of bureaucrats, making Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal the approving authority.
However, the services department refused to comply, saying the Supreme Court did not abolish the May 21, 2015 notification of ministry of home affairs according to which services matters lies with the lieutenant governor.
The AAP government and the bureaucracy are likely to move towards another round of tussle on the issue of services matter if both sides remain firm on their stand.
“Executive power related to ‘services’ lies with COM (Council of Ministers),” Kejriwal said in the letter, citing extracts from the Supreme Court’s order.
“It is clear... that Central government/LG have executive powers only on three subjects. On all other subjects, executive powers lay with the COM,” he said.
The MHA’s notification has become “infructuous” in light of such clear orders of the apex court, the chief minister said, adding the court judgement has become effective the moment it was pronounced.
In his letter to the L-G, Kejriwal said, “We seek your (L-G’s) support for the development of Delhi, for implementing public welfare schemes and for the implementation of the Supreme Court. We plan to issue orders tomorrow to all functionaries of Delhi government on the above lines.”
“In case you have contrary views on any of the above issues, kindly do let me know. If you so desire, myself and my cabinet colleagues can come over for a discussion,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that if officers are not going to abide by the apex court’s order and if the L-G still keeps seeing transfer files then it will amount to contempt of the Constitution Bench.
The Supreme Court in its verdict on Wednesday said the L-G has no “independent decision making power” and has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government.
The order by a five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, laid down broad parameters for the governance of the national capital, which has witnessed a bitter power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government since the AAP government first came to power in 2014.