Days after the Supreme Court ruled that the Delhi government must have control over transfers and appointments of bureaucrats, the Centre today brought in a special law, making Lt Governor, who is the Centre’s representative, the final arbiter in the matter.
The Centre through an ordinance has created National Capital Civil Services Authority to decide on postings and transfers. Its members will include Chief Minister, who shall be the Chairperson of the Authority, the Chief Secretary and the Principal Home Secretary.
All matters required to be decided by the Authority shall be decided by majority of votes of the members present and voting. In case of a difference of opinion, the decision of the Lt Governor is final.
The ordinance will have to be passed in both the houses of parliament. The BJP is short on numbers in the Rajya Sabha, where opposition parties could get together on the issue.
Earlier today, over delay in clearing the file pertaining to the transfer of Services Secretary Ashish More, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged the Centre was “conspiring” to reverse through an ordinance the Supreme Court verdict giving the elected government executive powers in services matters.
The ordinance is in complete disregard to the Supreme Court order, the ruling-Aam Aadmi party alleged.
“The Modi government has gone against the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court’s constitution bench. The court had directed that the elected government be given powers to take decisions independently, as per its will, as per the principles of democracy,” said Atishi, Public Works Department (PWD) Minister.
“But the Centre’s ordinance is a reflection of the (Narendra) Modi government being a graceless loser. The Centre’s sole motive to bring this ordinance is to snatch powers from the Kejriwal government,” she added.
AAP chief spokesperson and Services Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said the Centre had “deceived” the people of Delhi.
Abhishek Singhvi, who is the Delhi government’s counsel in the services matter, said that the new ordinance needs close examination.
“If a democratically elected government is not allowed to control its officers and hold them to account, then its responsibility towards legislature and the public is diluted. If an officer is not responding to the government, the collective responsibility is diluted. If an officer feels they are insulated from the elected government they feel they are not accountable,” said the Supreme Court last week.