In his weeks-long battle with L-G Najeeb Jung over issues ranging from police matters to civil servant appointments, Arvind Kejriwal is on somewhat shaky legal ground.
Article 239AA of the Constitution clearly states that the Legislative Assembly of Delhi shall not have power to make laws relating to subjects such as public order, police and land.
Yet Kejriwal directed all departments under the Delhi government to route files pertaining to police, public order and land only through the minister concerned and to “not bother the office of the Lieutenant Governor.”
To assert his authority, the CM quoted a provision of the Transaction of Business Rules that says the L-G should, in matters of public order, police and land, consult the CM – but conveniently forgot that this is mandated only if the president issues orders to this effect under Article 239.
“In the case of appointment of chief secretary, commissioner of police, state home secretary and secretary (land), it is the LG who has the power. Rest of the appointments should normally be made on the advice of the state cabinet,” Vikas Singh, former additional solicitor general of India, told HT.
He said that in case the L-G felt that a bureaucrat was being victimised, he could intervene as the Centre was the cadre-controlling authority.
A September 24, 1998 notification issued by the Union Home Ministry too supports the LG.
The notification said “The Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, shall in respect of matters connected with ‘Public Order’, ‘Police’, and ‘Services’ exercise the power and discharge the functions of the Central Government, to the extend delegated from time to time to him by the President, in consultation with the Chief Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, except in those cases where, for reasons to be recorded in writing he does not consider it expedient to do so.”
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