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Centre All Set to Hire Big Guns in Legal Battles Against AAP

The Centre is bringing out its big guns, like lawyer Harish Salve, to handle future legal battles with AAP.

Updated
India
2 min read
Centre All Set to Hire Big Guns in Legal Battles Against AAP
i

The Centre has decided to hire India’s top-most lawyers including Harish Salve to help Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal retain his power over the National Capital.

WHAT WE KNOW

Three veteran lawyers, Harish Salve, CA Sundaram and Rakesh Dwivedi, have been brought on board by the Centre to act as representatives of the LG in the batch of cases that are upcoming before a two-judge bench in the Supreme Court.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Union Territory Division, has written to the Law Ministry informing them of its decision, according to a News18 report.

BETWEEN THE LINES

What the hiring shows that the Centre does not want to leave any stone unturned in ensuring its win against AAP in its tussle with the Delhi L-G.

The Centre wants to hold onto the powers over the ‘Services’ in Delhi and the Anti-Corruption Branch, and does not want an unfavourable ruling against the L-G in the apex court, a News18 report said.

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THE BACKDROP

In the first week of July 2018, the Supreme Court said that it was the elected government of Delhi that was the supreme authority rather than the L-G in matters of administration.

The five-judge Constitution Bench had ruled unanimously that the L-G should respect the decisions made by the Delhi government and that he should act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers.

It held that the L-G’s power to refer a decision by the elected government to the President should be used only in “exceptional circumstances”. Though what these exceptional circumstances would be was left undefined.

Through this verdict, the SC reversed a 2016 ruling of the Delhi High Court that called the L-G an “administrative head” of the national capital region. Hence, this was a major win for Delhi’s AAP government.

The Centre wants to avoid a similar ruling in the cases lined up ahead in the SC.

IN DETAIL

Following the Constitution Bench verdict, the AAP government said that the ruling reversed a 2015 Ministry of Home Affairs notification that claimed the L-G was in charge of “Services”, including looking over the transfer and postings of bureaucrats. It also claimed the L-G was in control of the Anti-Corruption Branch.

The Centre had refuted AAP’s claim of any such reversal, and said that the matter is still pending before the SC, according to a report in The Hindu.

On Thursday, 19 July, P Chidambaram, representing AAP, urged the court to expedite the above pending appeals because the Delhi government is “paralysed”, according to a Hindustan Times report.

The court in its response said that the ruling will take place on 26 July and not before.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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