Delhi HC backs LG, turns down plea challenging Jung's authority

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has denied that the Centre was trying to run the Delhi government through the office of the LG. “We are not interfering with the Delhi government's work but Constitution needs to be followed,” Singh told a press conference.  

Delhi HC backs LG, turns down plea challenging Jung's authority
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  • Delhi High Court has said that LG Najeeb Jung will deliberate on the proposal given by the Delhi government.
  • Delhi High Court has turned down plea challenging constitutional authorities of Delhi Lieutenant Governor. 
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh has denied that the Centre was trying to run the Delhi government through the office of the LG. “We are not interfering with the Delhi government's work but Constitution needs to be followed,” Singh told a press conference.  
  • The HC today said that both the Centre and Delhi government are fighting over the MHA notification in the right way by approaching court.
  • Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court will hear on August 5 a PIL by a law student challenging the MHA notification on powers of the Lt Governor and Anti-Corruption Branch.
  • The SC bench also said the High Court would hear the fresh petition filed by the Delhi government challenging the May 21 notification of the Centre independently and without being influenced by the observations made by the single judge in his verdict.
  • The SC has, however, clarified that at this stage there is no stay on observations by the HC which termed the May 21 Centre's notification as 'suspect'. A vacation bench comprising Justices AK Sikri and UU Lalit said, "We are not inclined to go into the issue of stay at this stage and after getting the reply, we will look into it."
  • In its May 21 notification, the Centre had restrained the Delhi government's Anti-Corruption Branch from acting against its officers in criminal offences and also clipped the AAP government's powers by specifying LG's role. As per the notification, the Lieutenant Governor will have jurisdiction over matters connected with services, public order, police and land and he may consult with the Chief Minister whenever he thinks necessary on issues of services using his own discretion.
  • The SC has also issued notice to the Delhi government on the Centre's appeal against HC order allowing the ACB to take action against bureaucrats.
  • The Supreme Court has asked the Delhi government to reply in three weeks on the Centre's plea for stay of the HC order holding its notification limiting power of the anti-graft panel as 'suspect'.
  • Hearing the Centre's Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the Delhi High Court observations on Home Ministry's notification on Delhi Lieutenant Governor's powers and the jurisdiction of the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), the Supreme Court has issued notices to the Delhi government.
  • Our work in Delhi is being hindered because they don't want the magic that happened in Delhi polls to repeat in other places, says AAP leader Ashutosh
  • Constitution fixes everyone's responsibility, one man wanting everything to be according to his whims and fancies is causing huge harm to Delhi - Satish Upadhyay
  • Looks like AAP decided to go for confrontation rather than development. Court will give its view, says BJP's Delhi chief Satish Upadhyay
  • The Supreme Court will on Friday hear Centre's plea challenging Delhi High Court order terming as "suspect" its notification barring Delhi government's anti-corruption branch (ACB) from acting against its officers in criminal offences, and holding that the LG cannot act in his discretion.

The legal tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government over the Home Ministry notification clipping the powers of the AAP dispensation on Thursday reached the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.

The Centre's petition was mentioned before a vacation bench, comprising Justices A K Sikri and UU Lalit, by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, who said that the observations made by the High Court led to total uncertainty and made everyday administration of national capital difficult.

Irked by the notification that gives the Lieutenant Governor absolute powers in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital, the AAP government moved the Delhi High Court challenging it.

The petition mentioned before a bench of Justices BD Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva, said, "The Delhi government has decided to move against the Ministry of Home Affair's (MHA's) May 21 notification."

"As per the notification, the LG would have jurisdiction over matters connected with services, public orders, police and land, and...Services of bureaucrats...Allowing him discretionary powers to seek the opinion of the CM," it said.

In its plea in the apex court, Centre said that there was a need for clear interpretation of Article 239 AA of the Constitution in the balance of equation between the Delhi government and the LG.

When the bench said that the High Court has only used the word "suspect", the ASG submitted that a clarification is needed.

He said that the High Court observartions and findings have come while dealing with the bail application of the policeman who was arrested by the ACB.

Delhi government has also filed a caveat to pre-empt passing of an ex parte order.

In the application it has said that before passing any order, the city government be given an opportunity to make its stand clear.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had on Wednesday moved a petition before the apex court challenging May 25 order of the High Court which was hearing bail application of a Delhi Police constable arrested by ACB of Delhi Government on bribery charges.

The findings of the high court were part of a judgement in which it held that the anti-corruption branch of the NCT government has the jurisdiction to arrest policemen.

The AAP government in Delhi and the LG 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.

The High Court had dismissed the bail application of a head constable, who was arrested by the ACB in a corruption case.

It had also held that the LG cannot act in his discretion.

The petition was mentioned by Delhi government standing counsel Raman Duggal who also said that he has challenged all notifications issued by the Centre in the past.

(With PTI inputs)

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