The squabble between the AAP regime in Delhi and the Centre refused to abate even after the Supreme Court's order, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claiming on Friday that Lt Governor Anil Baijal disagrees with the contention that the court's order makes it clear that the power to appoint and transfer officials lies with the elected government in Delhi.
Kejriwal, after his meeting with Baijal, told reporters that the Lt Governor, acting on the directions of the Centre, refuses to agree that services falls under the domain of the Delhi government. This, Kejriwal said, amounts to the Centre disobeying the order of the Supreme Court.
According to the chief minister, Baijal said in the meeting that he is bound by the May 2015 notification of the ministry of home affairs, which had stated that services came under the Lt Governor's jurisdiction. Kejriwal claimed that Baijal contends that since the court has not quashed the notification, he is bound to follow it.
“It is for the first time in the history of India that the Central government is openly defying an order of the Supreme Court. If this becomes a precedent, there will be anarchy,” Kejriwal said.
The AAP government, following the court's order, claims control over services, arguing that the apex court has clearly stated in its judgment that only three subjects—land, police, and law and order—come under the Lt Governor, and the Delhi government has executive powers over all other areas.
Kejriwal said the Centre wants to continue thwarting the projects of Delhi government by controlling officialdom through the power of appointments and transfers. “The Central government and the Delhi government are adversaries. If a secretary is doing good work in Delhi, the Centre would want to remove him. The BJP does not want the AAP government to do any work,” he said.
Claiming that the Centre was committing contempt of court, the chief minister said his government was consulting its legal advisors on the next course of action in this regard.
However, the Lt Governor, said Kejriwal, agrees that following the SC judgment, the Delhi government need not send all files to him, and only the decisions taken by the AAP regime need to be conveyed to him.
Meanwhile, following the judgment, the Delhi government has gone on an overdrive to clear pending projects. Kejriwal was swift in approving the proposal for doorstep delivery of rations. He cleared the proposal, disregarding all objections that Baijal had raised, and directed the food and civil supplies department to implement the project on an urgent basis.
The chief minister has also issued directions that the project to install CCTV cameras all over the capital with the aim of improving the safety and security of denizens be brought to the cabinet at its next meeting on Tuesday for approval. This project was also pending with the Lt Governor.