MHA to challenge Delhi HC observation on notification

The Union Home Ministry is likely to challenge the Delhi High Court's ruling on the Centre's recent notification barring Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government from acting against central government officers.

New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry is likely to challenge the Delhi High Court's ruling on the Centre's recent notification barring Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government from acting against central government officers.

There is a possibility of the Ministry approaching the Supreme Court on Thursday, a senior official said.

The ministry's argument will be that the High Court passed the judgement and made observations without hearing its view, he said.

The ministry will also contend that after concluding all hearings on the bail plea of a Delhi Police constable who was held by ACB, the High Court reserved its order on the case on May 20.

The Home Ministry issued its gazette notification on May 21 that the ACB police station shall not take cognisance of offences against officials, employees and functionaries of the central government services besides giving the Delhi LG absolute powers on transfers and postings of senior officers.

"We will tell the Supreme Court how come the High Court makes comments on a notification issued on May 21 after reserving the judgement a day earlier," the official said.

The order could not have taken into account the notification since the court had already reserved its judgement, he added.

The Delhi High Court had on May 25 termed as "suspect" the Centre's notification barring Delhi government's ACB from acting against its officers in criminal offences and held that the Lt Governor cannot act on his discretion.

The HC had observed that the mandate of the people "must" be respected by the Lt Governor if there was no other "constitutional or legal fetter".

The AAP government in Delhi and the Lt Governor have been involved in a public spat over his powers vis-a-vis an elected government. The Centre had on May 21 issued a notification siding with the Lt Governor. 

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