Delhi Govt vs Centre: Supreme Court delivers split verdict, ACB to remain with LG

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The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered a split verdict in the case between the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor. The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan disagreed over the Delhi government’s powers to transfer civil servants.

Supreme Court

Last year in July, the Supreme Court had said that the LG could not refer all matters to the President. The top court had ruled that the elected government and not the LG was the administrative boss of Delhi. This verdict in a way rejected the ruling of the High Court, which had declared the LG as the boss of Delhi.

The Aam Aadmi Party had approached the Supreme Court seeking clarity on administrative powers of both the elected government and the LG.

Here are the key highlights of the verdict, according to Live Law website:

  • Justice Sikri holds that transfers and posting of officers of and above the rank of Joint Secretary are under the powers of LG; other officers are under the control of Delhi government. On this Justice Bhushan disagreed and said “services” were totally outside the purview of Delhi Government. 
  • Supreme Court refers the issue to a larger bench to decide whether the Delhi government or Lieutenant Governor should have jurisdiction over ‘Services’ in Delhi (ANI)
  • According to Justice Sikri, Anti Corruption Bureau to be under control of LG and that Delhi government has no police powers
  • Justice Sikri says that Commission of inquiry will be under the Central government.
  • Electricity board, powers, powers to appoint public prosecutor lie with Delhi government
  • Justice Ashok Bhushan dissents from Justice Sikri on the issue of ‘services’. On other aspects, agrees with Justice Sikri
  • Revision of minimum rates of agricultural land to remain with Delhi government but the LG can refer the matter to President.
  • On Anti-Corruption Branch being directed by LG not to take cognizance of offences against Central Govt officers, Centre’s power upheld by SC, reports Bar and Bench website

 

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