Delhi CM Kejriwal seeks legal opinion on tussle with L-G, lawyers back AAP govt's stand
Delhi government has sought opinion over the issue of powers of the Lt-Governor to appoint a chief secretary from eminent lawyers Rajeev Dhavan and Indira Jaising, who have supported its stand asserting that the LG has no independent discretion in the matter.
Supreme Court lawyers Rajeev Dhavan, in his letter, said that chief minister has a "perfect right" to a chief secretary of his choice and the current "crisis" has been created by the Lt Governor.
"The chief minister has a perfect right to a chief secretary of his choice. I am firmly of the opinion that this crisis has been created entirely by the LG," Dhavan wrote in his opinion to Delhi government over appointment of Shakuntala Gamlin as acting Chief Secretary by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung against the wishes of the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation.
Dhavan mentioned that "lapse of 40 hours is not sufficient reason for the LG to impose his choice on the CM especially when his urgency powers arise only when a reference is pending before the central government".
He mentioned that at best, the Lt Governor can advice the chief minister that it is necessary to appoint a chief secretary forthwith.
It is absolutely clear that the LG has exceeded his authority and has turned the entire relationship between himself and council of ministers on its head to jeopardise democracy and the Constitution, he said.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising also supported the Delhi government observing, "There is no provision granting the LG the power to act at his own discretion in the matter of appointment of the chief secretary."
Explaining the appointment procedure, Jaisingh said, "The proposal to appoint the chief secretary must be initiated by the government in accordance with the rules of business.
"The question of any difference of opinion on that issue can arise only after the proposal is made by the council of Ministers and sent to the L-G. Prior to that no question of difference of opinion can arise."
Stating that the LG has no independent discretion in the matter of appointment of chief secretary in the democratic scheme of the Constitution, she mentioned, "The decision who to appoints the chief secretary must be of the Council of Ministers and it is only when the LG has a difference of opinion on that decision that his role begins, hence there is no question of the LG taking the decision who to appoint as chief secretary without waiting for the decision of the council of ministers."
Amid the bitter face-off, the AAP government last night directed all its officials to apprise the chief minister or minister concerned about any oral or written direction from the L-G or his office before following them.
In a directive, the order signed by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the bureaucrats including the chief secretary will have to first consult with the chief minister and other Ministers about any communication from the LG before acting on such directions.
Read | In turf war with L-G, CM Arvind Kejriwal on shaky legal ground
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Jammu & Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha held a meeting with several political leaders of the union territory at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar on Wednesday evening. The meeting was held to discuss the current situation in J&K and the Amarnath Yatra that will begin on Thursday. The Lt Governor said the meeting was held to discuss the management of Amarnath Yatra. PDP chief spokesman Suhail Bukhari, however, didn't say whether pDP president Mehbooba Mufti will attend the meeting.
Amid tight security first batch of yatris reached Baltal on Wednesday, one of the base camps for the Amarnath Yatra, as the pilgrims will have a night halt at the camp. On Thursday morning they will be leaving for the holy cave. At several places, documents were checked thoroughly. Every year the annual Amarnath yatra is taken from two routes via Baltal in Ganderbal and Pahalgam in Anantnag district. Some pilgrims were busy chanting hymns.
A 15-year-old pedestrian succumbed to injuries sustained after being hit by an SUV near Botanical garden, Chandigarh. Lavanya was identified as Lavanya, 15, a resident of Nayagaon. The incident took place on Tuesday when Lavanya was crossing the road near gate number 1 of Botanical Garden. She where she succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday. Lavanya is survived by The victim's mother, Nancy Sharma, who works in a hotel and 10-year-old brother, and her father.
According to the proposal, which has been reviewed by HT the salary and allowances of chief minister and ministers, speaker, deputy speaker, chief whip and the leader of opposition will increase from the existing ₹72,000 to ₹170,000, and that lawmakers, from ₹54,000 to ₹90,000.
Amid chants of “Har Har Mahadev” and “Bam Bam Bhole”, lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday morning flagged off the first batch of pilgrims for the annual Amarnath Yatra from the Yatri Niwas base camp at Bhagwati Nagar here in the Jammu city for their onward journey to the Pahalgam and Baltal base camps in Kashmir.