AAP and L-G's fight on control of services unresolved

SC refers matter to 3-judge bench

The SC said Delhi government will have the right to appoint public prosecutors or law officers

The fight between Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor over control of services, including transfer and posting of senior officers, remained unresolved for now as the Supreme Court's two-judge bench gave a differing view on the subject.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the matter would be posted before a three-judge bench for final adjudication.

In his judgement, Justice Sikri said the officers to the level of joint secretary and above would be appointed by the Central government. He said the Delhi government would have the power to decide on transfer and posting of other staff. He also suggested forming a civil services board.

Justice Bhushan, in his judgement, said the Delhi government would have no power at all to appoint any staff.

The top court's bench, however, unanimously ordered the Delhi government cannot appoint a panel under the Commission of Inquiry Act.

On control of Anti-Corruption Branch, the bench said the Delhi government cannot use it to direct probe against central government employees.

It, however, held the Delhi government would have the power to appoint independent directors in power discoms.

The top court said the Delhi government would have exclusive power to appoint a special public prosecutor to pursue criminal cases.

With regard to revising of the price of agricultural land, the court said the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor has to work in mutual respect and the government of National Capital Territory can fix the rate.

The batch of appeals by Delhi government arose out of the August 4, 2016 verdict of Delhi High Court, in which it was held that LG was the administrative head of Delhi.

Notably, a Constitution bench had in a significant judgement on July 4, 2018, unanimously held that Delhi cannot be accorded the status of a state but it circumscribed the powers of the Lieutenant Governor, saying he has no "independent decision-making power" and has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government.

The Constitution bench judgement had interpreted the provisions of Article 239 AA(4) of the Constitution and the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993.

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AAP and L-G's fight on control of services unresolved

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