Delhi officials defy Kejriwal

On Thursday, Mr. Kejriwal wrote to Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal asking him to support the implementation of the court’s order. He said Mr. Sisodia had received a note from Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash saying that the officers could continue to follow the notification since it had not been quashed.

“I believe that would be a wrong course of action. If the files related to “Services” are placed before Hon’ble LG and Hon’ble LG acts on them, it would clearly amount to contempt of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the light of the aforesaid judgment. (sic),” Mr. Kejriwal wrote to the L-G.

Mr. Kejriwal added though the notification had not been quashed, it had become “infructuous” in the light of Wednesday’s judgment. He informed the L-G that the AAP government would issue orders to “all functionaries” regarding the implementation of the judgment on Friday.

Later in a tweet, Mr. Kejriwal said officers should “respect and obey” the judgment. “…Open defiance of SC order shall invite serious consequences. It will be in no one’s interest (sic),” he said.

Raj Niwas continued to maintain silence, not responding to requests for comment for a second day.

In his post, Mr. Jaitley termed it a “presumption” by the Delhi government that the apex court’s judgment had given it administrative powers over Union Territory (UT) cadre officers, a presumption, he said, was “wholly erroneous.”

“It (the judgment) emphasises the importance of elected State government, but Delhi being a union territory makes its powers subservient to the Central government,” he said.

There are several issues which had directly not been commented upon, but by implication there is some indication of those issues, Mr. Jaitley said, adding that unless issues of importance are flagged, discussed and a specific opinion is rendered, “none can assume that silence implies an opinion in favour of one or the other.”

There are two obvious indications, Mr. Jaitley said, adding firstly that if Delhi has no police powers, it “cannot set up” an investigative agency to probe crimes as had been done in the past. “Secondly, the SC has held categorically that Delhi cannot compare itself at par with other States and, therefore, any presumption that the administration of the UT cadre of services has been decided in favour of the Delhi Government would be wholly erroneous,” he added.

The court, Mr. Jaitley added, has “rightly observed that all the three institutions, the elected government, the L-G and the Central government must work in harmony keeping the interest of the people and the national capital in mind… Cooperation, operating in their respective constitutional space and not confrontation should be the objective.”

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