ANI Photo | “Direct challenge to Supreme Court”: Arvind Kejriwal calls ordinance “disgusting joke”

Coming out hard against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre over the ordinance on the control of services, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convenor on Saturday called the move “undemocratic and illegal” alleging that it “attacks the basic structure of the Constitution”.
He also accused the Centre of “challenging the apex court” ruling and purposefully waiting for the court to close till 4 pm for passing the ordinance.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said, “For a government to run efficiently, it is very important the officers come under the control of the elected government as the court also noted. On Friday, the SC closed at 4 pm, and they (BJP) brought the ordinance at 10 pm on the same day”.
“It seems as a disgusting joke against the democracy, people of the country as well as the 2 crore people of Delhi,” he added.
The Chief Minister alleged that as soon as the judgement was passed, the Centre had decided to bring an ordinance to circumvent the ruling.
“If we look at the sequence. After the order was passed, the services secretary became unreachable and even switched off his mobile. After he came back, Chief Secretary got unreachable. Due to this, the meeting of the Civil Services Board got delayed by three days. And when we finally send the proposal to the LG, he sits over it for further two days,” he said.
Kejriwal added, “They were purposefully waiting for the court’s holiday to start for bringing the ordinance. If they just wanted to bring the ordinance they could have brought it before as well. But they wanted the court to close, as they know that the ordinance is undemocratic, illegal and against the Constitution. They knew that if we challenge the ordinance in court, it won’t stand even five minutes. When the court opens on July 1, we will challenge it”.
The AAP national convenor further accused the BJP-led Centre of “directly challenging” the apex court of the country.
“The central government is directly challenging the majesty of the Supreme Court. It is a direct insult to the Supreme Court, a clear contempt of court. The people of Delhi have given a majority to AAP thrice. But time and again these people (Centre) have stopped us. How will the country run like this? They first brought a notification in 2015, then amended the constitution, and then implicated our ministers in false cases. The development that we are doing, they (BJP) don’t even have the capacity to do so,” the AAP convenor stated.
He added, “Even if our speed is slowed down by such things, we will not let the development stop. BJP has slapped two crore people of Delhi. The people of Delhi have the right to choose their government. It is not right to crush democracy openly like this. We will go to the Supreme Court against the ordinance”.
Kejriwal said that he is getting support from across the country, and he will go among the people of Delhi opposing the ordinance.
“I will go among the people of Delhi and organize a big rally in Delhi. The way the public’s reaction is coming, it seems that this time the BJP will not get even a single seat from Delhi in the (2024) Lok Sabha elections,” Kejriwal added.
“There is an appeal to the opposition parties to oppose this in the Rajya Sabha, I will personally talk to all the opposition leaders regarding this. Such a law cannot come that destroys democracy, no such law can come that attacks the basic structure of the Constitution. It is now a matter of battle between the Supreme Court and the Central Government,” he said.
The Union government on Friday brought an ordinance to notify rules for the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) regarding the ‘transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters’.
The ordinance has been brought to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 and it circumvents the SC judgement in the Centre vs Delhi case.
The ordinance has created for the first time a National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA) that will have the power to recommend the transfer and posting of all Group A officers and officers of DANICS serving in Delhi. NCCSA will be headed by the Chief Minister of Delhi, with the Chief Secretary and Principal Home Secretary of Delhi being the other two members.
The ordinance designates the Lieutenant Governor (LG) as the administrator of Delhi who will have the final say on the postings and transfer of all bureaucrats serving the Delhi government.
The ordinance, promulgated by President Droupadi Murmu, seeks to amend the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi Act, 1991 and effectively negates the Constitution bench verdict that gave the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government the power to make laws and wield control over bureaucrats deputed to the Delhi government.
On May 11, a five-judge Constitution bench unanimously said that the division of administrative powers between the Union and Delhi government “must be respected” and held that the Delhi government has “legislative and executive power over services” in the national capital, including the bureaucrats, except those relating to public order, police and land.
The apex court in its 105-page-judgement has said that the government of Delhi is not similar to other Union Territories.
The apex court has also reiterated that in light of Article 239AA and the 2018 Constitution bench judgment, the Lieutenant Governor is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of the Delhi government in relation to matters within the legislative scope of Delhi.
The judgement of the top court has further said that in a democracy, accountability lies with the people who are the ultimate sovereign.
The verdict of the apex court came on the tussle between Delhi and the Central government on the contentious issue of who should control administrative services in Delhi over the transfers and postings of officers in the national capital.

This report is filed by ANI news service.

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