In Fight Over Who Controls Delhi, Court Doesn't Stop Review Of AAP's Decisions

In Fight Over Who Controls Delhi, Court Doesn't Stop Review Of AAP's Decisions

Supreme Court refused to stall a review of Delhi government files ordered by Lt Governor (l).

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is away in Punjab as his government suffered another setback today, with the Supreme Court refusing to stall a review of 400 files ordered by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

The Delhi government had moved the top court against the inquiry, ordered last month, into decisions made by it. Mr Kejriwal has alleged a "witch hunt."

A stay on the inquiry would have brought temporary relief for AAP while its petition is heard. Justice A K Sikri of the Supreme Court said today that he would hear the case again on November 15. He could on that day refer it to a larger Constitution Bench, said Justice Sikri.

Lieutenant Governor Jung has alleged that the 400 files contain "infirmities and irregularities" and has asked three retired senior bureaucrats to review them and give in a report in six months.

"The committee will look into omissions or commissions, as also fix responsibility of individuals, including civil and criminal liability, if any," said a statement from Mr Jung's office.

Mr Kejriwal, who has accused the Centre of using the Lt Governor and the Delhi Police to target lawmakers and ministers of his Aam Aadmi Party, has said he fears that Delhi government officials "will be victimised now."

Since AAP came to power in Delhi last year, there has been a constant tussle between the central and state governments over who controls Delhi.

The Delhi High Court said last month that the Lieutenant Governor, who reports to the Central Government, is the administrative head of Delhi and that the state government needs to consult him for its decisions.

After the ruling, Mr Jung had asked officers to submit examples of the Kejriwal government failing to request his sign-off on decisions even though it was required to.

 Mr Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party allege that the ruling BJP has constantly harassed the elected government as it cannot get over its big defeat in the Delhi elections.

The AAP chief has been criticised for being away in Punjab to oversee his party's preparations for elections in that state early next year, missing an important day-long session of the assembly today.
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