Rights of elected governments cannot be usurped: Left parties on SC verdict on Delhi power tussle | Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) could not interfere with the policy decisions of the AAP government, the Left parties today said the judgment once again showed that the rights of elected governments could not be usurped. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the apex court verdict had brought the misuse of power by the LGs and governors into "sharp" focus. "The role of LGs and Governors and their misuse has been brought into sharp focus by today's judgement. BJP's charade of cooperative federalism and in reality destroying our federal structure is condemnable. LGs/Governors cannot usurp rights of an elected state government (sic)," he wrote on Twitter. The CPI echoed the sentiment and said the verdict was applicable to all the states.
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AAP hails SC verdict on Delhi power tussle, accuses Modi govt of creating 'chaos' | Heaving a sigh of relief over the Supreme Court verdict on the power tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre, the AAP leadership today accused the Narendra Modi-led administration of creating "chaos" in the national capital in the last three-and-a-half years. Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal welcomed the apex court verdict as a "big victory" for the people of Delhi and democracy. "Can Modiji revoke 3 years 5 months of chaos in Delhi? Will Delhi people forgive BJP for ruining 3 years 5 months (sic)?," AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj asked in a tweet. He drew a parallel between the previous Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government in Delhi and the current AAP regime and pointed out how the ruling party was obstructed from working in the national capital. "AAP Govt was formed in Feb 2015, three months later, In May 2015, Modi Govt brought this notification which took away 'services' from AAP Govt. This means Sheila Dixit Govt had all control over her officers/employees, Kejriwal Govt was left with zero control (sic)." "Modi Govt was formed in May 2014 & just 2 months later, Modi Govt brought a notification which took away powers of Anti-Corruption branch. Means Sheila Dixit had ACB for 15 years but was taken away because Modi was too scared of Arvind Kejriwal and his ACB (sic)," Bhardwaj said in a series of tweets.
READ | Supreme Court Says the Buck Stops at L-G's Door, Kejriwal Claims 'Big Victory'
L-G cannot substitute an elected government, the Bench underscored multiple times in its three concurrent judgments, authored by the CJI and Justices Chandrachud and Bhushan.
Congress leader P Chidambaram took to Twitter after Supreme Court judgment.
Whoever in the Central Govt was responsible for triggering the legal battle should own responsibility, but nobody will.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) July 4, 2018
Whoever in the Central Govt was responsible for triggering the legal battle should own responsibility, but nobody will.— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) July 4, 2018
READ | With SC Verdict Going AAP's Way, a List of Schemes That Stand to Gain
The SC said the Centre could not "usurp" the powers of the state and the "will of the people" could not lose its purpose.
BJP-AAP 'blame game' ends, they should start development of Delhi: Ajay Maken | The Supreme Court verdict on the power tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre had done away with all the possibilities of a "blame game" between the BJP and the AAP and the two parties should now ensure that the development of the national capital, which was "stalled" for years, started again, the Congress said today. In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court today held that Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal did not have independent decision-making powers and that he was bound to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers. "Since the apex court has clarified about the powers in Delhi, we hope that the development, which has been stalled ever since the Congress was voted out of power over four years ago, will start again," Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken told PTI. He said the LG and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should stop the "blame game" now and develop Delhi as the Congress did during its 15-year rule (1998-2013).
Arvind Kejriwal calls Cabinet meeting at 4 pm | Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal calls for a Cabinet meeting after the Supreme Court judgment. "Called a meeting of all Cabinet Ministers at 4 pm at my residence to discuss critical projects of public importance which were blocked so far," tweets Kejriwal.
Called a meeting of all Cabinet Ministers at 4 pm at my residence to discuss critical projects of public importance which were blocked so far.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 4, 2018
Reconstitution of Delhi Waqf Board: The Delhi Waqf Board was dissolved in October 2016 and has led to several difficulties in management. According to Delhi Government, 991 Waqf Board properties have been illegally occupied. It was sent to the L-G in November 2017 and has not been approved.
Request for officers in the Directorate of Education: In December 2017, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had requested the L-G to depute one IAS officer in each of Delhi’s 13 Education Districts. The L-G did not respond.
Investigation into corruption in LNJP and GTB Hospitals | Delhi Government had launched an investigation into alleged corruption by a firm hired in 2014 by the L-G for Housekeeping in LNJP and GTB Hospitals. In September 2017, AAP had requested the L-G to demand a CBI probe into the case. The L-G did not respond to the request. Rs. 1 crore Ex-Gratia to the kin of soldiers who died on duty | Delhi Government decided that any armed personnel, if he/she dies on duty in operations, calamities and disaster relief, and is a resident of Delhi, should be awarded Rs 1 crore posthumously. This file was sent to the L-G in September 2016. The file was not approved.
New six-lane flyover in Seelampur | During Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, the AAP Government also approved the Public Works Department (PWD) proposal for expenditure sanction of Rs 303 crore for the construction of six-lane flyover at Shastri Park Intersection and two-lane flyover at Seelampur. The project will lead to a signal free corridor from UP border to ISBT and will help in getting rid of the massive traffic jams at Shastri Park intersection.
Construction of 94 Polyclinics | The Delhi cabinet on Tuesday approved the Health Department proposal for remodelling of 94 Delhi government dispensaries into Polyclinics in different areas of the national capital at the cost of Rs 168 crore. The aim of the project is to reorganise health care facilities by remodeling the dispensaries into polyclinics, which will be attached to various Delhi government hospitals. The polyclinics will act as satellite centres for outdoor specialised medical treatment centres of these hospitals. Medical superintendants of hospitals to which the polyclinics will be attached will be the overall in-charges of these polyclinics. This is the next tier of Delhi Government’s Mohalla Clinics.
News18 brings you a list of schemes that the AAP government may push for now that the “concurrence” of the L-G is not required. Mukhyantri Tirath Yatra Yojana | The Delhi government had marked four major pilgrimage spots across North India. These are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Mathura and Haridwar. Delhi government said it was ready to bear the cost of the pilgrimage for senior citizens. The government is also planning to arrange for buses that will depart for these four destinations. Under the plan, senior citizens will also be provided with amenities and services for the journey. This was sent for the L-G’s approval in February and is still pending.
With SC verdict going AAP’s way, here’s a list of schemes that Delhi may soon get | In a strong indictment of both the Centre and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, the Supreme Court on Wednesday restored some of the powers of the elected Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of Delhi and cautioned the L-G to not play an “obstructionist” role. The SC said the Centre could not “usurp” the powers of the state and the “will of the people” could not lose its purpose. Over the last three years, the AAP government has claimed that the LG’s office has blocked several of its key schemes. News18 brings you a list of schemes that the AAP government may push for now that the “concurrence” of the L-G is not required.
Doorstep Delivery of Ration | The AAP government has claimed that while there are 20 lakh targeted beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System (PDS), widespread corruption in the system prevents from adequate rations reaching those who need it. To solve this problem, the Arvind Kejriwal cabinet had approved of a ‘Doostep delivery of rations’ scheme. In March this year, the Delhi Government had sent the file to the L-G for approval. However, the L-G has not given his approval yet. During his 9-day sit-in at the L-G’s residence last month, Kejriwal had said that getting the doorstep delivery of rations cleared was one of his main objectives.
The AAP government of Arvind Kejriwal had challenged a ruling of the Delhi High Court that upheld the Lieutenant Governor as the last word in administrative issues in Delhi.
Manish Sisodia Calls SC verdict 'Historic' | Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia termed the Supreme Court judgement "historic" and recalled the landmark mandate that the people of Delhi had given to the Aam Aadmi Paarty (AAP) in the Assembly elections in February 2015 when the party won 67 of 70 seats. "On behalf of the people of Delhi, I want to thank the Supreme Court, and the judges for this historic decision. They have pronounced that the people of Delhi are supreme," Sisodia told reporters. "We have not yet read the judgement in full, but what the court has said that people are supreme, elected government will be supreme, and LG has no power to act arbitrarily ('LG ke paas manmani karne ki power nahn hai')," he added. The "historic mandate" given to a new party was for for development, welfare of the people and to facilitate resumption of long-pending works, Sisodia said. However, "hurdles" were thrown in the way of the functioning of an elected government through a "wilful interpretation" of the Constitution, he added. "Whether it was the issue of installation of CCTV cameras, ration scheme, transfer and posting (of officials), interference was being created," the deputy chief minister added.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter post-Supreme Court verdict on the long drawn out battle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. "A big victory for the people of Delhi...a big victory for democracy...," tweets Kejriwal.
A big victory for the people of Delhi...a big victory for democracy...— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 4, 2018
Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that the Supreme Court has given us clarity on the tussle between the AAP government and L-G Anil Baijal. “It does not matter who controls what...the L-G and the CM have to work together. The Congress was in power for 15 years, we never quarrelled with the L-g like this,” she said.
Top 5 point from the majority verdict | In the battle between the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave more power to the elected government in Delhi and limited the role of the L-G.
Top 5 point from the majority verdict:
*If legitimate decisions if legislators is delayed by L-G, collective responsibility of govt stands negated
*Union must not usurp power on matters within domain of legislature
*L-G is bound by act and advise of council of ministers
*L-G can't act in a mechanical manner, and refer all decisions of council of ministers to President
*Concurrence of L-G not required on all matters
The governance will come to a standstill if every decision is referred to the President. Role of L-G is to make it workable and to leave Delhi in a conditionally dysfunctional state. L-G can't take independent decisions unless it relates to judicial and quasi-judicial bodies or where President authorises him: Justices DY Chandrachud
Justice D Y Chandrachud in his separate but concurrent verdict said LG must realise that council of ministers are answerable to people. "The citizens must fiercely protect their foundations because history will. Every decision of the elected govt can't need the prior concurrence of L-G... The difference of opinion can't be stifling. L-G must remember it is the elected govt which is answerable to the people," said Justices DY Chandrachud.
The concurrence of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal not required on all matters. No authority should feel It has been lionised... Mutual respect is the key: CJI Dipak Misra concludes his reading on the long drawn out battle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal in the Supreme Court.
"Lieutenant Governor can't act in a mechanical manner and refer all decisions of the council of ministers to President. The Lieutenant Governor's role can't be obstructionist, he must work together with the council of ministers and respect their decisions," said CJI Dipak Misra reading the judgment.
The executive powers of legislative assembly co-exists with its legislative powers. The Union Government has exclusive power over land, police and public order. Some required degree of independence has to be given to Delhi Government. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal is bound by act and advise of the council of ministers. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal can't act independently unless Constitution allows: CJI Dipak Misra reading judgment on the long drawn out battle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal in Supreme Court
Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at a function in New Delhi. (Image: AP)
The long drawn out battle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal will likely reach a conclusion on Wednesday as the Supreme Court is all set to declare its verdict on who is the administrative head of Delhi. The five-judge Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra, had concluded the hearings in December and has since reserved its verdict. On Wednesday, the apex court will deliver its verdict. In addition to the CJI, the bench comprised Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.
The tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government and the LG’s office had started as early as February 2015, after the AAP won a landslide majority in the Delhi Assembly. In 2015, the central government issued a notice saying the services department of the Delhi government would fall under the LG’s purview. This was in addition to three other subjects – land, police and public order – which fall with the Centre. This was compounded by the clash between then LG Najeeb Jung and Kejriwal when the AAP had set up an inquiry against the alleged CNG and DDCA scams. The AAP also bypassed the LG and made several top bureaucratic appointments without consulting Jung, who hit back reasserting himself by claiming himself to be the sole authority in matters of appointment.
The ugly spat between the two then went to the Judiciary, where the Delhi High Court delivered a severe blow to the AAP. In August 2016, the Delhi HC had said that the LG, not the CM, was the administrative head of the state. The HC bench in its judgment had said, “The... Lt. Governor of the NCT of Delhi shall in respect of matters connected with 'Services' exercise the powers and discharge the functions of the Central Government to the extent delegated to him from time to time by the President is neither illegal nor unconstitutional.”
The Delhi government then moved the Supreme Court, which concluded its hearing in December. In the seven months that the SC’s verdict has been reserved, the confrontation between AAP and the new LG Anil Baijal has refused to die down.
Last month, Kejriwal, along with three of his top ministers, held a nine-day dharna at the LG’s residence claiming that the LG, at the behest of the Centre, was engineering a bureaucratic rebellion. IAS officers in the Delhi Government, he claimed, had been on strike for four months which was preventing his government from doing their work.
The Delhi deadlock, between the elected AAP government on one hand and the Lieutenant Governor and bureaucracy on the other, finally came to an end nine days after the CM’s dharna. This was after the IAS Association had responded positively to Kejriwal's olive branch, in which he assured them of their safety and urged them to come back to work.
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