Services in Delhi falls under Centre: HC
New Delhi, Dec 27: The dispute between the AAP-led Delhi government and the BJP-led Central government over the constitutional provisions has been an endless one. The protracted legal battle has been going on ever since Arvind Kejriwal became the Chief Minister of Delhi, a Union territory with a semi-State status. The latest judgment from Delhi High Court has, however, nailed Kejriwal down.
The court has ruled that after all, Delhi is a Union territory. Therefore, the services in the Delhi government come under the control of the Central government. The Constitution of India, which is quite comprehensive in division of power, has a solution for such a dispute.
Following the same constitutional law, Justice Chandra Dhari Singh said that the services under the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi are necessarily the services of the Union. The High Court ruling says that the power of the Central government is expressly covered only by Entry 70 of List I.
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Union territory vs States
It is now clear that the High Court of Delhi is of the view that unlike the States, Delhi has no public service commission of its own. Moreover, the Legislative Assembly of the NCT has no legislative competence as well as with regard to any law covered under Entries 1, 2 and 18 of State List or even Entry 70 of the Union List.
Therefore, in the view of the High Court, Section 41 of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, has to prevail where the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) is required to act at his discretion. Hence, the L-G of Delhi is free to act on his own and not necessarily on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of the Delhi government.
Kejriwal bid to usurp on L-G’s powers
Earlier this month, CM Kejriwal issued a directive to recall the L-G’s order against Jasmine Shah, the vice-chairperson of Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi. This was again meant to create a fissure between the Delhi government and the L-G appointed by the Central government. As L-G V.K. Saxena had ordered that Shah “be restricted from discharge of functions as V-C”, the directive from Kejriwal was illegal, per se.
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Interestingly, Kejriwal seems to have issues where his government does not have power. However, there are several instances where his government has been involved in rampant corruption where it has power. Paying no attention to governance and squabbling for extra powers that are not given in the Constitution has been the trademark of Kejriwal over the years. This HC ruling may bring an end to his politics of cat-fighting.
Story first published: Tuesday, December 27, 2022, 17:43 [IST]
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