The power tussle between the Delhi government and LG Anil Baijal refused to die down with the latter transferring three IAS officers, days after the Supreme Court clipped his powers, prompting the AAP to accuse him of “bossing around”.
The transfer orders came even as the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 10 July agreed to hear next week appeals of the Delhi government relating to the scope of its various powers in view of the recent verdict by a Constitution bench holding that the Lieutenant Governor has no independent power to take decisions.
Baijal and Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash also had a meeting with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
During the 30-minute meeting at the Home Ministry, Baijal, Prakash and Gauba are believed to have discussed the issues related to services in the wake of the Supreme Court judgement, a home ministry official said.
Baijal refused to divulge details of the meeting. When insisted whether the issue of services was discussed, the LG said: “All is well between me and Kejriwal”.
The services department, however, still continues to be the bone of contention between the two.
According to a new order, Soumya Gupta has been replaced by Sanjay Goyal as Education Department Director. Similarly, Chanchal Yadav, who served as South DMC’s Deputy Commissioner has been shifted as Special Secretary to LG.
Vasanthakumar N, has been made Special Commissioner (Trade and Taxes).
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia slammed the move, saying the LG was “bossing around”.
The deputy chief minister said that with the Supreme Court verdict, it has been made clear that services comes under the Delhi government but the LG has kept it with him “arbitrarily” .
Kejriwal wrote to Baijal on Monday wondering how he can be “selective” in accepting the Supreme Court judgement.
In his response, Baijal had said he was “selectively” quoted and “erroneously” charged of “selective acceptance” of the Supreme Court verdict.
The apex court had in its 4 July ruling had said that barring three issues – public order, police and land – the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern on other issues.
After the Supreme Court judgement on 4 July, the Kejriwal government introduced a new system for transfer and postings of bureaucrats, making the Chief Minister the approving authority.
However, the ‘services’ department refused to comply, saying the Supreme Court did not abolish the notification issued in 2015 which made the Home Ministry the authority for transfers and postings.
On 6 July, the Home Ministry had asserted that it will be against the law to take a final view on the matter related to services as it is still pending before the court.