Kejri may move court for control

Centre-Delhi balance of power on shaky ground

The Arvind Kejriwal government is planning to consult legal experts on whether to move court over the issue of distribution of power between the chief minister and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, who is a representative of the central government. 

Sources said the Chief Minister wants the central government to demarcate the limits of both the elected government and the LG, who controls law and order, land and police in the city.

“There is a growing feeling that Raj Niwas is building undue pressure on the government,” said a government functionary.

The talk of consulting constitutional experts comes at a time when the Home Ministry and Jung have already advised the Kejriwal government not to disturb the existing pattern of file movement and decision making in the Union Territory. 

According to rules, the Chief Minister is supposed to be consulted by the Lieutenant Governor on key issues but this is not followed in spirit, he said.

An AAP functionary also pointed to provision in the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, which stress that Jung has to work under the advice of the Chief Minister. 

However, experts said Jung is not bound by Kejriwal’s advice as Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor is different and much stronger than governors in other states.

Last Monday, Jung sent an advisory to the government to function within the constitutional framework. However, sources in the government said that Jung is interfering with the government’s work as the Chief Minister and his team are trying to work within the framework of the rights given by the Act.

Former secretary of Delhi Assembly S K Sharma said the Kejriwal government’s demands for powers similar to those enjoyed by other state governments may not stand judicial scrutiny.

“Delhi is a Union Territory and the powers of the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister have been laid down in the Constitution. Any change in the arrangement would need legislative change,” he said.

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