LG Vs AAP Govt: Supreme Court refers 'services' issue to larger bench
Since coming to power in Delhi the Arvind Kejriwal led Aaam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has been in the midst of a power struggle with the Centre and LG over the control of services in the national capital.
Amid the ongoing row between the Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government and the Centre, the Supreme Court Thursday pronounced its judgment on a bunch of petitions including the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) issue on whether the Kejriwal government or the Centre hold jurisdiction over the control of services in the national capital.
The two-judge bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan couldn't agree on the issue transferring it to a larger bench of the court. Out of the six key issues, the judges favored the Centre and the Lieutenant Governor (LG) on four points but could not arrive at deciding on the two key points which have been a bone of contention between the AAP government and the centre.
Justice Sikri in his observation did not support Kejriwal led Delhi government's stand on the ACB issue and said that the agency could act against the Central officers. He also said that the power to post and transfer joint secretary level and above officers came under LG's domain, while that of the other officers was decided by the AAP government.
He added that the AAP government has to appoint an enquiry commission with the consent of the LG. Meanwhile, he also said that government can appoint prosecutors and government lawyers. As the verdict goes, the Centre and LG has the power to probe corruption cases, while the AAP government has the power over the revenue and electricity board.
The two judges agreed on almost all the points except on the issue of the control of services pertaining to the postings and transfer of secretaries due to which the issue was referred to the Chief Justice of India. He will constitute a larger bench to hear and decide on the issue.
A Constitution Bench in July last year, had asked both the Centre and the AAP government to practice "collaborative federalism" and restricted the jurisdiction of the LG to matters of land, police and public order. Meanwhile, he had to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of the AAP Government. The government had argued that the Centre decides the allocation of cadre for bureaucrats but the state government determines their postings.