Even as the impasse between the Delhi government and the Lieutenant-Governor continued, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a notification reiterating the Constitutional validity of the latter's role in the Capital's administration on Friday.
Issued late on Thursday evening, the said notification also reminded the Aam Aadmi Party-led (AAP) government about the limited jurisdiction of its anti-graft body, the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB). "Subject to his control and further orders, the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi," the notification said, "shall in respect of matters pertaining to Public Order, Police, Land and Services...exercise powers and discharge the functions of the Central Government, to the extent delegated to him time from time by the President."
The notification clearly left matters pertaining to services of bureaucrats to be settled by the L-G allowing him discretionary power to seek the opinion of the Chief Minister as and when the former deemed it fit.
It also reiterated the fact that the Delhi Government's ACB, vide a notification in July 2014 that limited its jurisdiction to officials of the Delhi Government, was still in force thus, effectively clipping its wings.
The Delhi Assembly had, in March, passed a unanimous resolution against the said notification alleging that it diluted the powers of the said anti-graft body.
The MHA notification comes at a time when the Government and the L-G have locked horns over the constitutional validity of each other's decisions pertaining to the appointment of a bureaucrat from the North East, Shakuntala Gamlin, to the highest bureaucratic office in the Capital.
Jung-Kejriwal turf war intensifies
- »May 18, 2015: AAP appointed senior bureaucrat Arvind Ray as Principal Secretary (General Administration) bypassing Najeeb Jung.
- »May 19, 2015: Jung asserts that he was the sole authority in matters of ordering transfer and posting of bureaucrats.
- »May 19, 2015: Kejriwal and Jung separately met the President while accusing each other of breaking the fine balance of jurisdictions.
- »May 20, 2015: Jung cancelled all appointments made by the Delhi government.
- »May 20, 2015: The Centre asked Najeeb Jung and Arvind Kejriwal to sit together and find a solution to the ongoing turf war.
- »May 20, 2015: Congress accused AAP and BJP of “deliberately” creating a “constitutional crisis”.
Kejriwal, Jung take their fight to President
Jung reportedly apprised Mr. Mukherjee of the stand-off, while maintaining that he had the power to appoint and transfer officers.
Delhi battle intensifies as Jung cancels Kejriwal’s appointments
Kejriwal wrote to Mr. Jung questioning his move. He wanted to know under what provisions the Lieutenant-Governor had exercised his authority.
Kejriwal ups ante against Lieutenant-Governor Jung
Acting Chief Secretary Shakuntala D. Gamlin was appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor’s office despite the objections of the AAP government.
Kejriwal-Jung impasse: The battle is for statehood
At the core of the current impasse between the Lieutenant-Governor and the Delhi Government is an issue which has the potential to transform the political climate of the Capital forever, insiders say.