Delhi LG given absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats

Delhi LG given absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats

Delhi LG given absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats

In the midst of a raging row over his powers vis-a-vis AAP government, Delhi's LG has been given absolute powers by the Centre in appointment of bureaucrats for which he need not "consult" the chief minister on subjects like senior staff, police and public order.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Delhi government has also been barred from registering any case against officers and political functionaries of the central government.

This decision is apparently aimed at preventing the AAP government from filing cases similar to the one against former Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily and a few central government officials in the natural gas issue in February 2014.

The gazette notification issued by the Home Ministry late last night said the LG will have jurisdictions over matters connected with services, public order, police and land and he may consult with the chief minister whenever he thinks necessary on issues of services using his own "discretion".

It is well established that where there is no legislative power, there is no executive power since executive power is co-extensive within legislative power, it said.

"Public order, police, land and services fall outside purview of legislative assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and consequently the Government of NCT of Delhi will have no executive power" on such matters, accordingly to the notification.

The gazette notification said the LG shall in respect of matter connected with public order, police, land and services exercise the powers and discharge the functions of the central government to the extent delegated to him from time to time by President provided that the LG may in his discretion obtain view of the Chief Minister of Delhi in regard to the matter of "services" wherein he deems it appropriate.

The notification made it clear that it superseded a 1998 notification which had allowed the LG to "consult" with the chief minister in all matters except in those cases where he did not consider "expedient" to do so.

"In pursuance of the powers conferred under clause (1) of Article 239 of the Constitution, the President, hereby, directs that subjects to his control and until further orders, the LG of NCT of Delhi, shall in respect of matters connected with 'public order', 'police' and 'services' exercise the powers and discharge the functions of the central government, to the extent delegated from time to time to him by the President, in consultation with the Chief Minister of the NCT of Delhi except in those cases where, for reasons to the recorded in writing, he does not consider it expedient to do so," the September 24, 1998 notification said.

The appointment of senior bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary by LG last week had triggered a full-blown war between the ruling AAP and Najeeb Jung, with Kejriwal questioning the LG's authority and accusing him of trying to take over the administration.