Delhi ACB Row: Vacation court cannot grant the relief sought by a fresh PIL, says Delhi HC

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Delhi High Court today, refused to stay two notifications of the Centre which had taken away the power of the AAP led Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) to prosecute officials of Union government. The Delhi HC stated that a vacation court cannot grant the relief sought by a fresh PIL.

A bench of justices S Muralidhar and IS Mehta said as the issue was already before a regular bench, it being a vacation court will not pass any orders at this stage and tagged the PIL with another petition filed by a law student, who has also challenged the notifications. “Vacation court can’t grant stay. Let the regular division bench hear it. It is seized of the matter in another PIL,” the bench said. Both petitions are now likely to be heard by the high court on August 5.

On May 29, the Centre had challenged the high court’s May 25 order in the Supreme Court, which sought the Delhi government’s response on the plea seeking stay on the judgement which termed as suspect the notification clipping powers of the AAP dispensation. The high court in its order had held that ACB has the jurisdiction to arrest Delhi police personnel involved in criminal offences. The PIL has also contended that the appointment of senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as the acting Chief Secretary by the Delhi Lt. Governor was “illegal”.