Lt Governor To Meet Arvind Kejriwal Today To Discuss Delhi Verdict

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Arvind Kejriwal's government doesn't need the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal's sign-off on every decision.

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Tussle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Anil Baijal has been going on for months.


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Delhi Chief Minister writes to Anil Baijal day after Supreme Court order
  2. Says his concurrence not needed on any matter but will keep him informed
  3. AAP has accused Lt Governor of obstructing projects, he denies it

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal will meet Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia on Friday to discuss the Supreme Court verdict on Delhi. Mr Baijal agreed to the meeting after Mr Kejriwal's wrote to him for his support, underlining that the elected government did not need his concurrence after the top court's verdict.

The chief minister's terse letter to Anil Baijal, a man he accuses of blocking him and his government at every step, had suggested the meeting to resolve their differences on the implications of the Supreme Court verdict. Sources said the meeting will take place at 3 pm.

It was after the top court ruling on Wednesday that Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had put out new rules authorizing the chief minister to transfer officers, citing the verdict that underlined that the elected government is the boss in Delhi and does not need a sign-off from the Lt Governor.

But Mr Kejriwal's celebrations were short-lived. The services department rejected Mr Sisodia's order, saying that the Lt Governor remains in charge of this key department.

Mr Sisodia said he was told by the chief secretary that his order was "legally incorrect" as the court had not yet cancelled a union home ministry notification of May 2015 - issued months after AAP swept the elections and took power - assigning the job to the Lieutenant governor.

In a four-page letter to Mr Baijal, Mr Kejriwal today said executive powers related to "services" lie with the elected government and not with the Lt Governor or central government. If the Lt Governor did act on files related to services, he said, it would be contempt of court.

"Till now, files on almost every subject used to be sent to the LG for his concurrence. Now, files would not be required to be sent. However, all decisions shall be duly communicated to the LG," said the chief minister.

The Supreme Court also ruled yesterday that the Lt Governor has limited administrative powers and is bound by the "aid and advice" of the elected government. The Lt Governor was also advised that he must not be "obstructionist".

"It has made clear that Lt Governor or the central government will have control over land, law and order and police and Delhi government has executive powers over the rest of the subjects. This order should be implemented in its letter and spirit," said Mr Kejriwal, who last month spent nine days at the Lt Governor's home in a protest sit-in to try and get him to end a bureaucrats' boycott of AAP.

Union minister Arun Jaitley, in a Facebook post, said the "presumption" of the Delhi government that the Supreme Court judgement has given it administrative powers over union territory cadre officers was "wholly erroneous".

The court ruling, said Mr Jaitley, "does not either add to the powers of the state government or the central government nor does it in any way dilute them. It emphasises at the importance of elected state government, but Delhi being a union territory makes its powers subservient to the central government."



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