Despite SC Judgment, Sparring Between Kejriwal and L-G Continues
The Supreme Court has ruled that the L-G cannot interfere with policy decisions taken by the AAP government in Delhi.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the L-G cannot interfere with policy decisions taken by the AAP government in Delhi.(Photo: Shruti Mathur/The Quint)

Despite SC Judgment, Sparring Between Kejriwal and L-G Continues

Days after the Supreme Court ruled that the Lieutenant Governor cannot interfere with policy decisions taken by the AAP government in Delhi, the sparring between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and L-G Anil Baijal continues.

Kejriwal has slammed the L-G for being "selective in accepting the SC judgment" and for refusing to give control of the services department to the city government.

Snapshotclose

  • The SC bench had ruled that the L-G was bound by the “aid and advice” of the council of ministers
  • The apex court also held that the L-G cannot be “obstructionist” in the decisions taken by the elected government
  • On 6 July, Baijal wrote a letter to the Delhi CM, asserting that the services department doesn’t fall under the purview of his government
  • Kejriwal lashed out at the central government, claiming that it had openly refused to obey the SC’s order
  • After the SC judgment, Kejriwal approved a scheme for doorstep delivery of rations, which had been shelved pending approval from the L-G
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Delhi vs Centre Supreme Court Judgment Tomorrow

The Supreme Court will pronounce the judgment in the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal tussle on Wednesday, 4 July, clarifying powers of the Delhi government.

A Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, and Ashok Bhushan had reserved the verdict on the contentious issue between the Centre and the AAP government on 6 December last year after hearing the matter for 15 days.

Kejriwal has been locked in the power tussle with the Centre ever since the AAP swept to power in Delhi in 2015.

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SC to Pronounce Verdict at 10.30 am

A Supreme Court bench comprising of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan will pronounce the verdict at 10:30 am today.

While wrapping up the hearings on 6 December last year, the bench had clarified that it would rule only on the “law and principle” governing the status of the national capital.

AAP's Counsel Arrives in Court

The AAP’s counsel former solicitor general Gopal Subramanium has arrived in court, reported News18. The channel also reported that senior advocates Indira Jaising and Rajeev Dhawan are in attendance.

Three Separate Judgments in the Case

CJI Misra has begun reading his portion of the judgment. The case will see three separate judgments, one by CJI Misra on behalf of him and two judges - Justices Sikri and Khanwilkar.

The two other judgments will be delivered by Justices Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan individually.

KEY EVENT

L-G Cannot Obstruct Delhi Govt: CJI Reads his Judgment

Reading out his portion of the judgment, CJI Misra said that if the L-G delays decision on legitimate issues, then the “collective responsibility of the government stands negated.” He further added that the State and the Union must display “harmonious relations”, warning the Union against usurping power in matters related to the legislature.

However, he added that Delhi cannot be given the status of a ‘state’, in view of the earlier nine-judge judgment. Highlighting the areas under the Union’s control, the CJI said the Centre enjoyed executive powers over land, police and public order in Delhi.

The CJI then said that the L-G is bound by the “aid and advice of the elected government in Delhi.” The L-G should work in harmony with his Council of Ministers, he said. “The L-G cannot act as an obstructionist. The concurrence of the L-G in all matters is not necessary”, CJI Misra said.

Balance is Vital, Says Justice DY Chandrachud

Reading out his judgment, Justice DY Chandrachud said that “real power and substantive accountability is vested in elected representatives.”

However, there must be a balance keeping in mind the “special status Delhi enjoys as national capital”, he added.

In a separate opinion, Justice Chandrachud observed that the L-G must realise that it is the “council of ministers who are answerable to the people and he cannot stall every decision of Delhi government.” He added that the L-G does not have the independent authority to take decisions except in the three matters listed under Article 239 AA.

L-G to Act in 'Aid and Advice' of Council of Ministers: Justice Ashok Bhushan

Justice Ashok Bhushan, delivering his judgment in the case, said that the L-G was to act in tandem with the “aid and advice” provided by the council of ministers. However, opinions should be respected and the L-G could exercise his exclusive power under exceptional circumstances, he observed.

Further, the L-G can refer a decision to the President in circumstances specified in Article 239 AA only, but he cannot sit on it, Justice Bhushan added.

KEY EVENT

"Big Victory for Democracy": Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

Tweeting in wake of the Supreme Court decision, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hailed the ruling as a “victory for democracy.”

AAP Addresses Press Conference

Thanking the Supreme Court for its decision, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that the ruling was a “landmark judgment.”

It is a landmark judgement by the Supreme Court. Now the Delhi government will not have to send their files to the L-G for approval, now work will not be stalled. I thank the SC, its a big win for democracy.

Welcome the SC Verdict: Soli Sorabjee

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee welcomed the SC verdict, saying that both L-G and the Delhi government should work harmoniously.

Its a good verdict by Supreme Court. L-G and Delhi government have to work harmoniously, and cannot always have confrontation. Daily squabbles are not good for democracy. I welcome the decision.
Soli Sorabjee, Former Attorney General

Happy With the Judgment: BJP's Manoj Tiwari

Reacting to the Supreme Court's decision, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari told ABP News that he was happy with the ruling.

Urging Kejriwal to understand the ruling, Tiwari said that the Delhi government should now act in accordance with the Constitution, as maintained by the apex court.

"The Supreme Court had stated that there is no space for absolutism or anarchy in our Constitution. Kejriwal does not follow the constitution and creates anarchy, therefore, he must understand this judgement," he said.

KEY EVENT

Top Five Observations Made by SC

  • Council of Ministers has to communicate its decision to Lt Governor, this does not mean Council of Ministers are bound by Lt Governor.
  • Except for matters related to land, police and public order, the Lt Governor has no independent decision-making powers under the Constitution.
  • Difference of opinion between the cabinet and the Lt Governor should not be obstructive.
  • Lt Governor has to work harmoniously with his Council of Ministers.
  • Lt Governor is bound by aid and advice of Council of Ministers, subject to the proviso to Article 239 AA to refer matter to President. He cannot act independently.

Kejriwal Calls Meeting at 4 pm

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has called for a meeting with his cabinet ministers at 4 pm to discuss the projects that had been stalled so far, in view of the tussle.

Reshuffle in Delhi Govt Expected: Reports

Quoting sources, News18 reported that the Delhi CM Kejriwal was poised for a massive reshuffle in administrative positions within his government, in view of the SC’s decision.

DMK's MK Stalin Welcomes SC Decision

DMK Working President MK Stalin welcomed the SC’s decision, stating that governors across states should act understanding the SC verdict.

KEY EVENT

Arvind Kejriwal to Meet P Chidambaram

Following his "major victory" in the Supreme Court in his bitter power tussle with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will meet former Union minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday to "thank" him for representing the city government as one of its counsel in the apex court.

The senior Congress leader welcomed the verdict and called it a, "Thumping victory for representative democracy.”

KEY EVENT

Arvind Kejriwal Holds Cabinet Meeting After SC Decision

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that he held a cabinet meeting and directed functionaries to “expedite proposals of doorstep delivery of rations.”

Taking a jibe at the Centre, Kejriwal wrote that if it wasn’t for the Narendra Modi-led government “precious three years wud (sic) have been saved.”

Good That SC Upheld The Constitution: BJP

Hailing the Supreme Court verdict in favour of the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government, the BJP claimed that it was a good thing that the decision was given against ‘anarchy’.

“It is a good thing that the Supreme Court upheld the Constitution of India and gave a decision against anarchy,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.

Puducherry CM Wants SC Verdict to Apply in His State Too

Engaged in a running feud with Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy hailed the Supreme Court judgement on the powers of an elected government, and insisted it was "totally applicable" to the Union Territory too.

The veteran Congress leader warned he would file a contempt petition if the Lt Governor failed to act in accordance with the apex court verdict.

SC Ruling Not a Vindication For AAP: Sheila Dikshit

Downplaying AAP's victory proclamations over the Supreme Court verdict, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the ruling that the LG is bound by the government's advice was "not a vindication" for the party as "it has always been so".

Dikshit, who was the chief minister of Delhi from 1998-2013, said her government may have had differences with the LG, but there was never any "tussle".

"We may have had differences. When the differences came out, after talking to each other we sorted out those differences," Dikshit told PTI after the ruling.

SC Order on Delhi a 'Thumping Victory' For Democracy: Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram hailed the Supreme Court judgment on the power tussle between the LG and the Delhi government, saying it was a "thumping victory" for democracy.

In a series of tweets, Chidambaram, who represented the Delhi government as counsel in the court, asked why Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal allowed himself to be misdirected in law by his political masters.

Chidambaram also hit out at the Centre for ‘triggering the legal battle’.

“The SC judgement contains important lessons for Puducherry as well,” he added.

Delhi Govt Authorises Kejriwal For Transfer, Postings of Bureaucrats

The Delhi government on Wednesday introduced a new system for transfer and postings of bureaucrats, making Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as the approving authority, hours after the Supreme Court verdict on its long-running fight with the L-G on administrative and other powers.

So far, the Lieutenant Governor has been the approving authority for transfers and postings of the IAS and DANICS (Delhi, Anadaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services) officers.

Arvind Kejriwal Arrives at P Chidambaram's Residence

CM Arvind Kejriwal met senior Congress leader P Chidambaram at his residence to “thank” him for representing the Delhi government.

Arvind Kejriwal at Congress leader P Chidambaram’s residence. 
Arvind Kejriwal at Congress leader P Chidambaram’s residence. 
(Photo: ANI)

Governance Begins in Right Earnest After SC Verdict: Congress

The Congress welcomed the Supreme Court's verdict on the power tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre and hoped that better sense would prevail on both sides and delivery of services to the people would begin in the "right earnest".

The Congress hoped that the verdict would put an end to the ego clash between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "No elected government in garb of a conflict with the Centre should resort to non-governance as has been happening in Delhi." He said the truth is that the "egoistical battle" between the prime minister on one side and the Delhi chief minister on the other side would end.

Services Dept Refuses to Transfer Files

The services department has refused to issue the order empowering Delhi's CM, Deputy CM and other ministers to decide on transfer & appointment of bureaucrats, reported ANI quoting sources.

According to The Indian Express, sources in the department said that a note was sent back to the CMO, citing a 2015 MHA notification.

"The MHA notification is in the name of the President and unless it is specifically overturned or quashed, it stands," a senior official from the department told the daily.

The officer added that till the notification was overturned, the portfolio remained with the L-G.

Regular Bench to Hear Pending Matters

With the Supreme Court order on Wednesday clarifying roles of the L-G and the Delhi government, a regualr bench in the apex court will now hear individual cases pertaining to the specific issues - including the appointment of civil services officers.

The judgment yesterday said that the bench will hear the cases keeping in mind the the five-judge bench's order.

The pending matters include two notifications by the MHA and Delhi government each, as well as setting up commissions of enquiry into the DDCA and CNG fitness scams.

AAP Hits Out Over Rejection of Transfer Order by Services Dept

In a series of tweets, the AAP hit out at the Services Department for refusing to accept Delhi CM Kejriwal as the authority on transfers.

Tensions Continue, Sisodia Says Govt Consulting Lawyers on Bureaucrats' Refusal to Comply with Its Orders

The refusal of bureaucrats to comply with the Delhi government's directives amounts to contempt of court and the leadership is seeking legal opinion on the matter, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said today.

A day after the Supreme Court ruled that that lieutenant governor is bound by the elected government's advice and cannot be an "obstructionist", Sisodia said he appealed to officials and the Centre to abide by the judgement.

"The chief secretary has written to me saying the services department will not follow the orders. If they are not going to abide by it and the transfer files will still be seen by the LG then it will amount to contempt of the constitution bench," Sisodia told reporters.

"We are consulting our lawyers about what can be done in the situation," he said, adding that the Supreme Court had clearly stated that the LG has the power to interfere only in three subjects, which does not include the services department.

Kejriwal Urges All Stakeholders to Implement SC Order

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday requested all stakeholders to implement the Supreme Court order on the distribution of powers between the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor, and to get down to work for the development of the city.

"I want to appeal to all the stakeholders to implement the order and work together for the development of Delhi," he said.

KEY EVENT

Your Concurrence Would Not be Required: Kejriwal to L-G Baijal

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday saying his "concurrence would now not be required on any matter."

The Supreme Court has in "clear terms" stated the powers of the Delhi government, the central government and the L-G. Police, public and land are under control of the L-G, and the Delhi government has executive powers on other subjects, the chief minister said on Thursday.

KEY EVENT

Kejriwal to Meet Baijal Tomorrow

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to meet Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal at 3 pm on Friday, 6 July.

KEY EVENT

Blog Reflects BJP’s Frustration Over SC Verdict: AAP Attacks Jaitley

The AAP lashed out at Union Minister Arun Jaitley over his blog on the Supreme Court judgement on governance in Delhi, saying his views reflected "frustration" of the BJP over the ruling.

Jaitley, after having "messed up" the country's economy during last four years, is now finding time to comment on the Supreme Court verdict that "embarrassed" the BJP central government for its "illegal and unconstitutional interference" in the functioning of the elected government of Delhi, said an AAP statement.

"Varying responses and contradictory voices from the BJP reflect its frustration on the Supreme Court judgment, which has ruled that elected Delhi government has the power to govern Delhi on all matters except land, police and public order," it said.

Senior AAP leader Ashutosh dubbed Jaitley as a "constitutional anarchist" who has "no faith" in the Constitution.

(With inputs from PTI)

KEY EVENT

Kejriwal Approves Doorstep Delivery of Rations

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved the doorstep delivery of rations, adding that he “over ruled any objections to the scheme.”

In a tweet, he said:

Delhi CM Kejriwal and Deputy CM Sisodia Arrive to Meet L-G

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia have arrived to meet Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

KEY EVENT

Watch: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Addresses the Media After Meeting L-G

Addressing the media after his meeting L-G Anil Baijal on Friday, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said:

The L-G has agreed that the files of the Delhi government need not be sent to him. Only the decisions will be made known to him. This will help clear a number of files which had been pending.
Arvind Kejriwal

The CM also took a dig at the Central government, claiming that it was going against the order of the Supreme Court.

If the government doesn’t follow orders of the Supreme Court, there will be anarchy in the country.
Arvind Kejriwal
KEY EVENT

L-G Assures Kejriwal of Cooperation in the Interest of Good Governance

In a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, L-G Anil Baijal on Friday "assured them" of his "continued support and cooperation in the interest of good governance and overall development of Delhi."

Kejriwal, in turn, thanked the L-G for his assurance, while asserting that the "Constitution is supreme" and that the orders of the Supreme Court "must be respected".

KEY EVENT

After Meeting L-G, Kejriwal Seeks Appointment With Rajnath Singh

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Friday, 6 July, sought an appointment with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to urge him to ensure implementation of the SC orders on governance in Delhi.

Kejriwal said that it is very "dangerous" that the central government is advising the L-G not to follow the apex court's order on power tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre.

(PTI)

KEY EVENT

L-G Writes Letter to Kejriwal, Bone of Contention Continues to be Services Dept

Hitting back at Arvind Kejriwal, Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Friday said the Home Ministry's 2015 notification stating that 'services' falls outside the purview of the Delhi Legislative Assembly "continues to be valid".

In his letter to Kejriwal, Baijal said that "further clarity" regarding the services matter and other issues will be achieved when the appeals pending before the regular bench of the SC are finally disposed off.

Following the apex court verdict which clipped the powers of the L-G, the bone of contention between the Delhi government and L-G’s office continues to be control over the services department.

His statement came after Kejriwal claimed earlier in the day that the L-G had refused to give control of the services department to the city government.

In the letter, Baijal pointed to a 2015 Ministry of Home Affairs notification issuing "Presidential directions" under Article 239 and 239AA of the Constitution.

It said ‘services' falls outside the purview of the Legislative Assembly of the NCT of Delhi and consequently the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi will have no executive powers in relation to ‘services'.

The said notification was also upheld by the High Court of Delhi in its judgement on 4 August 2016. In the wake of the judgment of the learned Constitutional Bench of Supreme Court, the MHA has advised that as per concluding paras of judgment, the nine appeals including the one relating to ‘Services’ shall be taken up by the learned regular Bench and the MHA notification dated 21.05.2015 continue to be valid.
Anil Baijal’s letter

Baijal in his letter to Kejriwal said that the Supreme Court's entire judgment and its implications are still being studied.

"Lt Governor invited the chief minister's kind attention to para-249 of the judgment wherein Supreme Court has observed that the set up in the NCT of Delhi is one where the Council of Ministers headed by the Chief Minister on one hand and the LG on the other are a team, a pair on a bicycle built for two with the President as its rider who retains the general control," the LG's office said in a statement.

(PTI)

KEY EVENT

Kejriwal Writes Letter to LG Over 'Non-Implementation' of SC Judgment

Days after the Supreme Court ruled that the L-G was bound by the "aid and advice" of the AAP government in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote a letter to L-G Anil Baijal saying:

You agreed with para 277 (xxi) of SC’s judgment which says concurrence of L-G is not required. However, you refuse to implement para 277 (xiv), (xv) and (xvi) of the same judgment. How can you be selective in accepting the judgement?
Kejriwal’s letter to L-G

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