Friday, 06 July 2018 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi–
Kejriwal Govt threatens contempt of court after CS says L-G boss of Services Dept
A day after the Supreme Court verdict, the tenuous relationship between the Delhi Government and top bureaucrats came to the fore again on Thursday as the Chief Secretary maintained the Lieutenant Governor is still the boss of the Services Department.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leadership is likely to move a “contempt petition” against those who had refused to comply with its directive on transfers and postings.
Hours after the Supreme Court’s landmark judgement, which made it amply clear that the L-G is bound by the elected Government’s “aid and advice” and cannot be an “obstructionist”, the Delhi Government had Wednesday introduced a new system for transfer and postings of bureaucrats, making Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal the approving authority.
Soon after the Services Department refused to comply with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s order on transer and postings, Kejriwal tweeted, “Sought time to meet the L-Governor today (Thursday) to seek his support and cooperation in the implementation of the order of the SC and in the development of Delhi.”
Slamming the L-G and the Centre for their alleged unwillingness to work together despite the SC order, Kejriwal reiterated the need for implementing it in letter and spirit.
The Services department refused to comply, saying the SC did not abolish the notification issued in 2016 which made the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) the authority for transfers and postings.
Now, the Government is exploring legal options and is likely to move a “contempt petition” on the matter, Sisodia told the media on Thursday.
“Have directed Secretary Services again to issue orders as directed yesterday. Informed the officer that non-compliance would lead to contempt of the SC and the officer shall face disciplinary proceedings,” Sisodia tweeted.
The CM was more forthcoming in echoing his deputy’s tweet and tweeted, “All officers should respect and obey SC order. Open defiance of SC orders shall invite serious consequences. It will be in no one’s interest.”
Sisodia said the CS had written to him, saying the Services Department would not follow the orders. “If they are not going to abide by it and the transfer files will still be seen by the L-G then it will amount to contempt of the constitution Bench,” Sisodia told reporters.
The landmark verdict pronounced by the five-judge Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court clarified that the L-G has no “independent decision-making power” and has to act on the aid and advice of the elected Government.
Describing the officer’s decision as “unfortunate”, Sisodia said the country is democratic and if officers refuse to comply with the court order, how would the democracy work.
“If the orders of the Constitution Bench of the SC, are openly violated, country would go into a state of chaos. Where will be the law then?” Sisodia asked. He said the Centre, the L-G or the officers may not like the court order but they will have to abide by it.
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