18 July Thursday

Power Tussle in Delhi: Modi Govt Circumvents SC Verdict With Ordinance

M. AkhilUpdated: Saturday May 20, 2023

New Delhi : The Modi government issued special Ordinance to circumvent Supreme Court verdict that acknowleged decisive powers to the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi. The SC allowed the  Delhi government decision-making powers in matters such as appointment and transfer of important officials. The Centre cut that out with an Ordinance that passed procedures in unusual haste.  The Ordinance got its approval from the President and the notification in gazette in this regard was issued on Friday night.

As per the Friday notification, a “National Capital Civil Services Authority” will be formed that will make recommendations on important appointments and transfer  The National Authority will be headed by the Delhi Chief Minister and members will include the Delhi Chief Secretary and Principal Home Secretary. The notification stipulates that Lt. Governor will take the final decision on recommendations made by the National Authority.

On 11 May , the Constitution Bench of Supreme Curt ruled that the matters relating to control of officials rests with the democratically elected government of Delhi and further that, the Lt. Governor should act according to the instructions of such government. Within a week of the verdict, the Modi govt annulled it passing Ordinance. There arose wide  criticisms against Centre’s move  from political and legal circles after which, the Centre approached the apex court with a review petition. The Aam Aadmi Party too is set to approach the Supreme Court seeking to scrap the Ordinance.

The Centre contends that Ordinances are issued for  broader national interests and argues that the impact of Delhi decisions do not stay confined to Delhi. Rather they affect the entire country and crucial institutions such as Parliament, the Supreme Court, Ministries, Diplomatic offices etc. This kind of  situation cannot be allowed, says Centre.