SC to hear after Diwali break Delhi govt’s plea on who controls bureaucrats
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will hear after Diwali break the Delhi government’s plea on the contentious issue of who should control administrative services and bureaucrats in Delhi.
“List this matter after Diwali vacation,” said Chief Justice of India NV Ramana after senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, requested for an early hearing of the case. The top court reopens on November 8 after the Diwali break.
Requesting for an early hearing, Mehra said that two judges had in February 2019 differed with each other on the aspect of administrative control of officers in the national capital territory of Delhi, following which the issue was referred to a three-judge bench.
“Since the entire administrative control vests currently with the Centre, it is an important issue and impedes on the ability of the Delhi government to govern and implement its policy,” submitted Mehra, requesting the court to list the matter for hearing as early as possible.
On February 14, 2019, the two-judge bench of the top court delivered a split verdict on the question of powers of the GNCTD and Union government over services and referred the matter to a three-judge bench.
In the split verdict, justice Ashok Bhushan held that the Delhi government has no power at all over administrative services. On the other hand, justice AK Sikri said the transfer or posting of officers in top echelons of the bureaucracy (joint director and above) can only be done by the central government while for other officers, the mandate of the Lieutenant Governor would prevail only in case of a difference of opinion.
Governance of the national capital has witnessed a power struggle between the Centre and the Delhi government since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power in 2014.