HC asks Centre, Delhi govt not to act against each other

With the Centre and the Delhi government at loggerheads over the probe into the CNG fitness scam, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked both not to precipitate matters by taking "coercive steps" against each other and their officials.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 23, 2015, 19:41 PM IST

New Delhi: With the Centre and the Delhi government at loggerheads over the probe into the CNG fitness scam, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked both not to precipitate matters by taking "coercive steps" against each other and their officials.

While the court directed the Centre not to take any coercive measures in regard to a recent memorandum by the LG directing all officers not to follow AAP government orders which were declared "null and void" by the union government, it also restrained the city government from taking any coercive steps in connection with the Commission of Inquiry proceedings in the CNG fitness scam.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also made clear to both governments not to act against each other till the pendency of the AAP government's plea challenging the Centre's May 21 notification which gave the LG absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats to various posts in Delhi and barred Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) from proceeding against any staff under the Centre's control.

The Delhi government has sought a stay on operation of the memorandum issued by the LG on September 17, which has stated that officers would face strict action for non- compliance of the order.

"We are of the opinion that it is necessary to hear both the parties... Pending further order, neither Delhi government nor Union of India shall take any coercive steps in relation to the September 17, 2015 and August 11, 2015 notification issued by both of them," the high court bench said.

It also said it would begin daily hearings on the matter from tomorrow.

The interim order came on the Centre's plea challenging AAP government's August 11 order appointing Justice (Retd) S N Agarwal, a former judge of Delhi and Madhya Pradesh High Courts, as a one-man probe panel to go into all aspects of the award of work relating to CNG fitness certificates in the transport department of Delhi, in which number of officials of erstwhile Sheila Dikshit government are under the scanner.