After the Supreme Court clipped the powers of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will meet Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Friday, even as the relationship between the Aam Aadmi Party dispensation and bureaucrats strained further on Thursday over transfer and posting order.
Kejriwal warned officers of “serious consequences” if they did not comply with the city government’s directive on transfers and postings.
The Delhi government also explored legal options, including filing contempt petition, against those who refused to comply with the directive, an official said.
Another government official said Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will meet Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Friday to discuss the Supreme Court order.
This would be the first meeting between the L-G and the chief minister after the apex court order on the power tussle between the city government and the Centre.
Kejriwal wrote a letter to Baijal on Thursday, saying ‘services’ matter lies with the Council of Ministers, after bureaucrats refused to follow the AAP government’s order withdrawing powers of transfer and postings from the L-G.
Hours after the Supreme Court’s landmark judgment on Wednesday, the government introduced a new system for transfer and postings of bureaucrats, making the chief minister the approving authority.
However the services department refused to comply, saying the apex court did not abolish the May 21, 2015, notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to which services matter lies with the lieutenant governor.
The Supreme Court in its landmark judgment on Wednesday had said the L-G is bound by the elected government’s advice and cannot be an “obstructionist”.
“All officers should respect and obey SC order. Open defiance of SC order shall invite serious consequences. It will be in no one’s interest (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted on Thursday.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted, “Have directed again Secretary Services to issue the orders as directed yesterday. Informed the officer that non compliance would lead to contempt of SC and the officer shall face disciplinary proceedings.”
In his letter to Baijal, the chief minister said the 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”.
Kejriwal wrote, “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 (order). We plan to issue orders tomorrow to all functionaries of Delhi government on the above lines.”
“It is clear... that Central government/LG have executive powers only on three subjects. On all other subjects, executive powers lay with the COM (Council of Ministers),” 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 became effective the moment it was pronounced.
Kejriwal also sought time from Baijal to discuss the situation arising out of the apex court’s order. The Lt Governor’s office has not commented on the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister requested all stakeholders to implement the court order on distribution of powers between the Delhi government and the LG, and said the verdict had clearly demarcated the areas of power sharing.
Echoing the views of the chief minister, his deputy Sisodia tweeted, “I want to appeal to all the stakeholders to implement the order and work together for the development of Delhi. Sought time to meet Hon’ble LG today to seek his support and cooperation in the implementation of the order of Hon’ble SC and in the development of Delhi.”
He said the chief secretary had written to him, saying the services department would not follow the orders.
“If they are not going to abide by it and the transfer files will still be seen by the L-G then it will amount to contempt of the Constitution Bench,” Sisodia told reporters.
Meanwhile, Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Manoj Tiwari said there has been an “unprecedented political logjam” in the three years of the AAP government and urged Kejriwal to “give up” his full statehood demand and work for the people.
In a letter to the chief minister, Tiwari alleged that in the “politically motivated logjam”, the development of the city has been the biggest casualty in the last three years.
Claiming that two crore people were “crippled” due to “lack” of proper water and electricity supply and “depleted” public transport system, the Delhi BJP chief said, “I therefore urge you to give up your demand for full statehood and provide people with adequate supply of water and power.”
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.