SC to hear AAP govt’s complaint against Lt Governor today

New Delhi: The standoff between the Delhi government and Lt Governor Anil Baijal will be discussed in the Supreme Court on Thursday as the apex court will take up government’s complaint that it was paralysed because it could not transfer or post bureaucrats.

A bench of justice AK Sikri and justice Navin Sinha, in their last week’s hearing, posted the matter for July 26 after the Lt Governor sought time.

Representing the Delhi government, senior advocate P Chidambaram had said “Functioning of the government is completely paralysed. We cannot post officers, we cannot transfer officers despite the recent constitution bench verdict which has explained every aspect. These issues needs to be adjudicated at the earliest,”

The Aam Aadmi Party has accused the Lt Governor of stalling its orders on transfers and posting despite a court order.

The AAP government has sought an early disposal of all appeals filed by the Delhi government on the scope of its powers in view of the recent verdict by a Constitution bench.

A three-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on July 4 ruled that the Lt Governor was bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

The bench has also ruled that the Lt Governor exercised no independent powers as the representative of the central government except in law and order, police and land. The Delhi government has the powers to legislate and govern on other issues.

The apex court had said that issues regarding various notifications issued by the Delhi government in exercise of its administrative and legislative powers would be dealt separately by an appropriate smaller bench.

After the Supreme Court ruling, the Arvind Kejriwal government had sent Baijal files recommending transfer and posting of officials. But the Lt Governor stonewalled it, saying the issue involving “Services” was yet to be decided.

Baijal said the Union Home Ministry had advised him to keep exercising powers over “Services” because the May 21, 2015 notification remained valid until a regular bench of the apex court decided on it.