2014 notification of Central govt restricting jurisdiction of ACB ‘wrong’ : Delhi HC


The Delhi High Court today, dismissed the bail plea filed by constable Anil Kumar arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, saying that the anti-corruption branch has jurisdiction to arrest policemen.

The HC also stated that the Lt Governor must act according to the ‘aid and advice of the council of ministers’ and that ‘mandate of the people must be respected by the Lt Governor in respect of matters which fall within the domain of the Legislative assembly.’

The HC observed that, “The LG must act on aid and advice of Council of Ministers in respect of matters which fall within legislative competence of the Delhi assembly. The NCT of Delhi shall not be administered by the President through the Lieutenant Governor in respect of matters over which the Legislative assembly of the NCT has authority to make laws.”
Delhi government sources hailed the HC observations. “This Position emerges from the constitutional scheme contained in articles 239 and 239AA read with sections 41-44 of the GNCTD Act, 1991. The mandate of the people, with whom sovereign power resides, must be respected by the LG in respect of matters which fall within the domain of the Legislative assembly, provided there is no other constitutional or legal fetter,”

This comes at a time when the AAP led Delhi government is considering challenging the Union Home Ministry’s recent notification in court. The notification had stated that since bureaucrats and police officers working in the Delhi government belong to central cadres like AGMU, IPS, DANICS and DANIPS, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Delhi government had no jurisdiction on them. This notification was as a severe blow to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s anti-corruption drive, since it meant that they would no longer be able to book these officials facing charges of corruption.