Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia hit out at the Centre once again for "defying" the Supreme Court orders and pressuring officers working with the Delhi government to stall its projects.
Sisodia told the media that most IAS officers were refusing to take orders from the Delhi government despite the Supreme Court ruling.
“It is very clear that they have instructions from the Centre and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to stall the projects of public welfare in Delhi. By doing this, the Centre is not only killing the democratic and federal structure of the country but is also defying the orders of the apex court,” he said.
The Supreme Court on July 4 ruled that the Lt. Governor in Delhi had powers only in three areas: police, land and public order. The powers relating to all the other subjects lie with the elected government of Delhi.
“Even after such clear orders, the Centre through IAS officers is openly defying them,” Sisodia said.
“The Transport Secretary refused to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order which stayed the purchase of 2,000 buses for Delhi,” said Sisodia.
“Delhi is short of buses and needs them as soon as possible. Stalling the process is not only anti-people but also a clear violation of the Supreme Court order,” Sisodia said.
Citing another example, Sisodia said the Food Commissioner simply refused to implement the doorstep ration delivery project in the capital.
“Even after he was directed by the Chief Minister, the Food Commissioner, appointed by the Centre, refused to implement the scheme,” he said.
The same way, he said, the Managing Director of the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corp (DSIIDC) refused to carry out the developmental works in the unauthorized colonies in Delhi.
“We would have changed the officer if we had the transfer/posting powers,” he asserted.
Sisodia also suspected a conspiracy over not letting the lawyer’s community appear for the Delhi government.
“Officers have refused to clear pending bills to the advocates. The LG, under instructions from the Central government, has directed officers not to clear the bills of advocates who have appeared for the Delhi government in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.
“The intention is to send a message to the lawyers community not to appear for the Delhi government,” he said.
He also said that some officers had told him in private that they were working under a lot of pressure. “First they had the pressure of sending every file to the LG and now they have the pressure to stall every work of Delhi government.”
Amid an ongoing tussle with Lt Governor Anil Baijal, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that the Delhi government was paralysed because it could not transfer or post bureaucrats.
Senior Congress leader and advocate P. Chidambaram, appearing for the Delhi government, told a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Navin Sinha that it was an urgent issue and should be heard soon.
“Delhi government is paralysed today. We can’t transfer or post officers. What’s the purpose of Constitution bench judgement? It’s an urgent issue,” Chidambaram said.
The bench posted the matter for July 26 for hearing as the Lt Governor sought accommodation for a week.
The AAP government has sought an early disposal of all appeals filed by the Delhi government on the scope of its powers in view of the recent verdict by a Constitution bench.
The three-judge Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud on July 4 ruled that the Lt Governor was bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
The bench has also ruled that the Lt Governor exercised no independent powers as the representative of the central government except in law and order, police and land. The Delhi government has the powers to legislate and govern on other issues.
The apex court had said that issues regarding various notifications issued by the Delhi government in the exercise of its administrative and legislative powers would be dealt separately by an appropriate smaller bench.
After the Supreme Court ruling, the Arvind Kejriwal government had sent Baijal files recommending transfer and posting of officials. But the Lt Governor stonewalled it, saying the issue involving “Services” was yet to be decided.
Baijal said the Union Home Ministry had advised him to keep exercising powers over “Services” because the May 21, 2015 notification remained valid until a regular bench of the apex court decided on it. (IANS)