Delhi: Lt. Governor vs. Chief Minister

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See also Delhi: Statehood- legal, constitutional issues


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Contents

References to the President

1993- 2023 Jan

January 15, 2023: The Times of India


New Delhi : Amid a tussle between the state government and the lieutenant governor over governance issues, records show that there have only been seven instances since the first election of the reconstituted Delhi Assembly in 1993 when the difference of opinion between the two power centres reached the office of President of India for resolution.


Of the seven, six were referred by the LGs to the President during the tenure of AAP governments, the latest referral, in November 2022, being over the alleged misuse of public office by Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi vice-chairman Jasmine Shah for political purposes. A decision on this is awaited.


Though the LG is expected to normally act on the aid and advice of the state council of ministers in matters that fall in the jurisdiction of the legislative assembly, any difference of opinion between the two can be referred to the President under Article 239AA (4) of the Constitution read with Rule 50 of Transaction of Business of GNCTD Rules, 1993, for the central government to decide. In 2018, the Supreme Court, delivering its judgment on a petition relatedto the division of powers between the constitutional head and the elected government, had said such a referral should not be about a “trivial” matter and was to be the “exception, not the norm”.


The first time referral to a president was in 2012 when LG Tejendra Khanna did not agree with Sheila Dikshit-led cabinet’s decision to grant bhumidari (ownership rights) to the original allottees of land under the 20-point programme or their kin and were carrying out agriculture on it. Delhi government hasn’t yet submitted its comments on the issue to help the President take the final view.


In 2017, LG Anil Baijal referred the appointment of Krishna Saini as Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission chairperson made without his approval to the President. A year later the matter was closed after Delhi government appointed Satyendra Singh Chauhan as DERC chairman after receiving the LG’s approval.


The same year, the LG referred the cabinet decision to give ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore to the family of a retired subedar who committed suicide during the agitation for ‘one rank one pension’. In March 2018, the Union home ministry sought information from the state government about any other state or Union territory having a policy on such cases. The MHA letter was forwarded to the revenue department of the Delhi government in April 2018.


On three subsequent government decisions sent to him in 2020 and 2021, the President agreed with the LG’s views. This included the LG’s objections to two files on the appointment by the state government of 11 advocates and six law officers as special public prosecutors in criminal cases related to northeast Delhi riots of January 2020, first in July 2020 and then in July 2021. The third case also related to the appointment of the 11 law officers and advocates as special public prosecutors in criminal cases related to farmers’ agitation of January 2021.

YEAR-WISE DEVELOPMENTS

1993-2013: lack of LG-CM friction

Atul Mathur, Total recall: How things were different during Sheila’s days, February 15, 2019: The Times of India


While the Aam Aadmi Party government has been involved in a constant run-in with the Union home ministry over IAS and DANICS officers in Delhi, the previous dispensations in the state rarely faced any major trouble.

A source said the Congress government during its 15-year tenure in Delhi as well as the BJP government in 1993-98 had handled the issue deftly. The Union home ministry, as the cadre-controlling authority, decides on the postings of IAS and DANICS officers, but it generally respects the requirements of the elected governments, the source claimed.

“Coordination was the key. Once the top bureaucrats were sent by MHA, though the LG decided on their postings, he kept in mind what the elected dispensation wanted,” said a senior bureaucrat, requesting anonymity. “The CM’s office used to send file with the list of officers for various departments and the LG would concur and sign it.”

A retired officer said the previous governments had worked through an “unsaid understanding”. In several instances, he added, MHA had transferred IAS officers out of Delhi and CM Sheila Dikshit had got the order quashed by taking it up with the Union home minister. “It happened when L K Advani was the home minister in the Vajpayee government and also when P Chidambaram held the office during the UPA rule.” The previous governments also had no control over these officers, he pointed out.

In case of the chief secretary, the CM’s office used to send a panel of three-four names and MHA would finalise the candidate with the CM’s approval, another officer said.

2005-19: Centre vs. Delhi state

Alok KN Mishra, February 5, 2021: The Times of India

Centre vs. Delhi state: 2005-19
From: Alok KN Mishra, February 5, 2021: The Times of India

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, included for consideration and passage in the current session of Parliament, is all set to revive the power tussle between the Union and state governments. The face-off began in 2015 after Arvind Kejriwal was swept to power in Delhi with a huge majority, and culminated on July 4, 2018 when the Supreme Court drew the power lines by decreeing that the city’s lieutenant governor, the representative of the central government, was bound to function with the aid and advice of the council of ministers.

This verdict was a watershed moment for the Aam Aadmi Party government because the concurrence of the LG was no longer required for administrative issues, except those dealing with land, police and public order, which remained under the LG’s jurisdiction. The state government had often accused the LG of obstructing its many projects, but with the court granting it leeway, it initiated numerous schemes in a short period, which played a major role in the party's consecutive return to power in 2020. The post-July 2018 period has been conflict-free, barring the occasional confrontation between the two power centres over administrative matters like appointment of special public prosecutors. The thaw also improved the relationship of the elected government with the bureaucrats and quickened decision making and delivery.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which aims to give more power to the LG, may put this peace at peril. Central government sources stated that the amendments are meant for “better governance” of the capital and to reduce potential conflicts. They propose to clearly enunciate the functions of the council of ministers and the LG. AAP, however, believes that the Bill gives unlimited powers to the LG and thus will subvert the mandate of a government democratically elected by the people of Delhi.

There are apprehensions that the Bill will set off a fresh round of animosity, the sort that marked the first few years of AAP’s second stint in power. The differences began mostly in April 2015, with the LG demanding to see the files and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal telling bureaucrats not to bother the office of the LG with all the files. The then LG Najeeb Jung hit back by directing ministers and government officials to refer all files to his office.

Among the jousting points were the appointment of acting chief secretary Shakuntala Gamlin by Jung. Kejriwal was opposed to his administrative move, and soon the gloves were off in a battle that continued to take on bizarre dimensions with every administrative twist and turn. A senior IAS officer, for example, was astounded to find his office in Delhi Secretariat locked when he came for work, apparently on the orders of the AAP government. When the turf war worsened, both the LG and Kejriwal knocked on the President’s door for clarity on the power structure.

To settle the ambiguity, the Centre issued a notification clipping the wings of the AAP government. The war continued nevertheless, and bureaucrats found themselves caught in the crossfire. In December 2015, many officials went on mass leave to protest the alleged harassment of officers caught between the state and Union governments. Apart from governance, the biggest casualty of this dissonance was the morale of the bureaucrats.

The situation exploded in February 2018 after Anshu Prakash, the then chief secretary, accused AAP MLAs of assault at a meeting at Kejriwal’s residence. This triggered protests by the IAS association and Delhi government officials and continued for some time. In June, complaining that the bureaucrats were not attending meetings called by ministers, the CM and four cabinet colleagues sat on a dharna in the LG’s office for nine days, seeking both the end to the crisis and approval for some government schemes. Soon after, the SC verdict largely settled the power tussle.

In February 2019, there was a two-judge bench split verdict on finer issues of division of power, such as the prerogative to transfer and post IAS and administrative officers, but this did not change in the status quo in the power structure.

2014-18: The AAP Govt of Delhi vs. the Lt. Gov./ A timeline

July 5, 2018: The Times of India


CM Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers were locked in a bitter battle with LG Najeeb Jung. Things didn’t get any better when Anil Baijal took over

KEJRIWAL VS JUNG

2014 | Kejriwal resigns as CM (first stint) when LG doesn’t allow tabling of Lokpal Bill draft in assembly citing Constitutional provisions

2015 MAY | LG appoints S Gamlin as acting chief secretary of Delhi, Kejriwal terms it “unconstitutional”

Kejriwal instructs bureaucrats not to follow any order from Jung without consulting him

JUNE | Five officers of Bihar Police join Delhi government’s ACB; Jung rejects it, says he is the ACB boss Jung names joint commissioner of Delhi Police MK Meena new chief of ACB. Kejriwal cries foul. Delhi govt replaces home secretary Dharam Pal. LG vetoes order

DECEMBER | AAP govt sets up inquiry commission to probe DDCA; Jung questions its validity CBI raids CM’s office; Kejriwal blames PM Modi and Jung IAS and DANICS officers go on mass leave a day before odd-even road scheme

2016 JUNE | ACB probes Delhi govt’s app-based premium bus service ACB files FIR against Kejriwal and former CM Sheila Dikshit in “water tanker scam”

AUG | HC gives primacy to LG in Delhi’s administration. AAP govt moves SC Jung axes Delhi health secretary and PWD secretary Jung sets up panel to probe over 400 files related to decisions taken by Delhi government LG-appointed committee, led by VK Shunglu to look into 400-odd files of Delhi govt, alleges “nepotism to financial irregularities” in AAP government

SEPTEMBER | After chikungunya outbreak, Jung asks Sisodia to return from Finland Jung refuses to meet AAP ministers

OCTOBER | Alka Diwan, appointed by Jung as DCW member secretary, stops payment of salaries to contractual employees of DCW; Kejriwal seeks her removal

DECEMBER | Jung replaces Diwan with IAS officer Dilraj Kaur.

Kejriwal rejects move, calls Jung “Hitler”

Jung resigns

KEJRIWAL VS BAIJAL

2017 MARCH | Baijal orders recovery of Rs 97 crore from AAP, which was allegedly “splurged” on ads

APRIL | Baijal cancels office allotment to the party; CM calls it “politically motivated”

MAY | AAP moves HC against LG order to recover Rs 97 crore spent on ads

AUG | 45 AAP MLAs camp at LG Office for several hours, insisting Baijal clear mohalla clinics file

OCT | Kejriwal says he is “an elected CM, not a terrorist”, hits out at Baijal for “opposing” a Bill to regularise guest teachers in Delhi Baijal says matters relating to ‘services’ fall beyond legislative competence of Delhi’s legislative assembly

2018 JUNE | Kejriwal exhorts party workers with the slogan “LG, Delhi Chodho” as AAP announces campaign for full statehood

INTERPRETATION OF CONSTITUTION

Till HC verdict of August 4, 2016, AAP govt claims that the Transaction of Business Rules are clear that not all files need to be sent to LG Over 50 notifications, including administrative and policy decisions where normally the LG’s approval was taken by earlier governments, happened without latter’s approval Over 12 legislations, including controversial Jan Lokpal Bill that was approved by assembly, referred by LG to MHA

Over half a dozen orders of the state declared null and void by LG; these included decision on restructuring and increase in DANICS pay scale, the revision notification of circle rates, suspension orders of two special secretaries of home department by minister Satyendar Jain

Commissions of Inquiries into CNG fitness scam, DDCA declared unconstitutional

ACB a major point of tussle where CM and LG asserted precedence in appointment of chief

AAP VS BUREAURACY

FEBRUARY 19-20, 2018 | THE ALLEGED ATTACK ON CHIEF SECRETARY ANSHU PRAKASH AT CM’S RESIDENCE WAS THE BIGGEST FLASHPOINT BETWEEN AAP AND OFFICERS

WHAT CS CLAIMED

Asked to explain reasons for delay in executing publicity programme on completion of govt’s three years Assaulted when he said he was bound by SC guidelines

WHAT AAP CLAIMED

Meeting was called to discuss problems related to ration disbursal BJP instigated “rioting” at secretariat

2018 JUNE | Kejriwal accuses officers of skipping meetings; he claims IAS officers “on a strike for four months” and it is being “orchestrated by PMO and coordinated by LG”

LG refuses to meet CM and his colleagues CM and his colleagues camp inside his house, refusing to leave until Baijal agrees to meet Delhi IAS Association holds press conference to refute claim; refer to “assault” on CS Prakash at CM’s residence and say officers fear for their safety AAP calls off the dharna after CM promises to ensure their “safety”

2017: A YEAR OF TUSSLE

AAP MLAs demand jail terms for officials in charge of desilting of drains for “miserably”

failing in their job The petitions committee seeks PWD principal secretary Ashwini Kumar to be divested of his post pending inquiry Kejriwal writes to chief secretary Kutty, asking him to start ‘dereliction of duty’ proceedings against Kumar CM alleges Kutty is taking orders from BJP as he has refused to abide by directions of CM to order an inquiry into metro fare hike Kejriwal says 90% of IAS officers don’t work and development is “stuck at secretariat”

DJB CEO Keshav Chandra summoned in connection with “irregularities” in tender process of 14 sewage treatment plants along Yamuna Chandra and Kutty transferred to Centre

2015 | In 2015, after the then chief secretary D M Spolia retired, the AAP govt has a run-in with the Centre over the successor. In Dec 2016, M M Kutty takes over and remains in the line of fire till his transfer to the central govt in Dec last year. Anshu Prakash comes in after that

OTHER CONTROVERSIES IN 2016 AND 2015

DECEMBER 2016 | IAS and DANICS officers adopt a resolution to express anguish over “humiliation” of officers by political executive. It is submitted to Manish Sisodia, but he slams them for doing “politics”

Kejriwal hits out at IAS (AGMUT) and DANICS associations and says PM Modi using them as pawns to target AAP

DECEMBER 2015 | On the last day of the year, Kejriwal faces protest by 150-odd DANICS officers resorting to go on mass leave. The AAP govt calls those on strike ‘B-team of BJP’

ANOTHER CASE WHEN AAP GOVT SCORED A ‘BIG WIN’

In 2015, Delhi govt appointed 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries…

…Assembly passed Delhi Member of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification, Amendment Bill) 2015, excluding parliamentary secretaries from office of profit preview

President Pranab Mukherjee refused assent to Bill In Jan 2018, EC recommended disqualification of 20 AAP legislators In March, HC restored their membership

PROJECTS THAT DELHI GOVT CLAIMED WERE STALLED

Doorstep delivery of

public services

Dec 18, 2017 File sent to LG Jan 15, 2018 LG gives approval

Mohalla clinics

AAP govt planned to build 1,000 mohalla clinics in one year So far, less than 170 built

LG nod came with multiple riders in Sept 2017

Mid-day meals By Akshaya Patra Foundation

Outsourcing of lab diagnostic services (nonradiological)

Final approval on Jan 16, 2018

600 LED screens at various locations

Health Insurance scheme

CCTV project

Reconstitution of Waqf Board

Mukhya Mantri Tirath Yatra Yojana

Revision of minimum wages (approved on Mar 2, 2017, after 192 days)

Doorstep delivery of ration

WHAT LG CLAIMED

Nearly 10,000 files received by LG office during AAP govt’s tenure 97% of proposals cleared without change Only 2 proposals sent to President Less than 3% of files/proposals returned

CM Arvind Kejriwal vs L-G Najeeb Jung: 2015

A timeline: Chief Minister vs Lieutenant Governor; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India

The Times of India 19 May, 2015

The turf war between chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung unfolded as follows.

May 15

LG Najeeb Jung appoints Shakuntala Gamlin as acting CS; AAP govt slams the move, saying LG acted against ‘the Constitution, GNCT of Delhi Act and the Transaction of Business Rules’ Jung rebuts the allegations saying under Article 239 AA of the Constitution, LG is the representative of State Authority in Delhi

May 16

CM Arvind Kejriwal asks Gamlin not to take charge, saying her appointment is against the set rule Gamlin takes charge; Kejriwal removes Anindo Majumdar from the post of principal secretary (services) after he issued the appointment letter to Gamlin following instructions from Jung LG declares the order to transfer Majumdar ‘void’ saying it did not have his approval

May 17

CM accuses Gamlin of trying to favour 2 Reliance Infra-owned discoms through a Rs 11,000-cr loan and says the Modi government wants AAP dispensation to 'fail'

May 18

AAP government locks the office of Majumdar, appoints CM’s secretary Rajendra Kumar as principal secretary (services); LG rejects the appointment

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia writes to LG, calling Jung’s stand unconstitutional

2015-19: a summary of the LG-CM tussle

Alok KN Mishra, February 15, 2019: The Times of India

2015-19: a summary of the LG-CM tussle
From: Alok KN Mishra, February 15, 2019: The Times of India

The Supreme Court verdict dampened spirits of the Aam Aadmi Party government even though it was the day it completed four years in office.

The elected government was expecting that the SC verdict would give the power to post and transfer officers and also place the Anti-Corruption Branch under its jurisdiction. Not long after it assumed office, the AAP government had a turf war with the Centre over the control of ACB.

In the initial months, the elected government had both services and ACB under its jurisdiction. But differences arose in May 2015 between the government and the LG over routing of files. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal told officials not to bother the LG’s office with all files, but then LG Najeeb Jung hit back and directed ministers and official to refer all files to him.

The appointment of bureaucrat Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary by lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, which was opposed by Kejriwal, sparked another confrontation. Gloves were soon off in this battle that continued to get bizarre by the day until a senior IAS officer found his office at the Delhi Secretariat locked under orders of the AAP government. Both LG and Kejriwal had to knock on the President’s door.

To settle the turf war, the Centre issued a notification, leaving the services and ACB under the jurisdiction of the LG and virtually clipping the wings of the AAP government. But the battle raged and bureaucrats found themselves caught in the crossfire. In December 2015, bureaucrats went on a mass leave to protest against the alleged harassment of officers caught in the crossfire.

Soon, the Delhi government became a not-so-coveted destination for bureaucrats. Apart from governance, the biggest casualty of the tussle was the morale of the bureaucrats.

The appointment of several IAS officers turned into friction points between the LG and elected government, and the situation turned worse when chief secretary Anshu Prakash was allegedly assaulted during a meeting at the CM’s residence in February last year. It was over distribution of rations. The incident triggered a major governance crisis as IAS officers united in protest and boycotted meetings with the CM and his ministers. Later, Kejriwal sat on dharna for nine days inside LG house with his ministers, seeking an end to the crisis.

“A trust deficit still exists between the elected government and the bureaucrats, which is not an ideal situation for effective governance,” said an IAS officer.

Several officers have opted for central deputation, leading to a shortage of IAS officers in the Delhi government.

And yet, despite all this, the government had celebrated its third anniversary with a mega event last year. This year, there seem to be no such plans.

CM’s residence: prohibitory orders around: 2016

The Times of India, Aug 05 2016

Raj Shekhar Jha & Somreet Bhattacharya

Sec 144 near CM home: Cops say order illegal

Delhi Police asked the sub-divisional magistrate of Civil Lines to immediately withdraw the “illegal“ prohibitory order issued by him under Section 144 of CrPC banning protests and public meetings around chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's house and adjoining areas.

Lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung is learned to have sought an explanation from the SDM for acting beyond his jurisdiction while civil society members criticised the move coming from a CM seen as an “advocate of protesting outside people's homes“.

Kejriwal's mentor and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare said huge gatherings may pose a problem but no one should stop small gatherings from protesting.

In his order issued on August 2, SDM B K Jha had banned protests, processions and dharnas at Flag Staff Road, Civil Lines and in the neighbouring areas, saying they “may create serious law and order problems“.

In a letter to the SDM, DCP (north) Madhur Verma said the action amounted to interference in the working of Delhi Police. Citing a Union home ministry notification of July 2, 1978, Verma said the powers and duties of the district magistrate with regard to Section 144 of CrPC within Delhi lie with the police commissio ner. Hence, the August 2 notification was “beyond the domain of powers of SDM in Delhi“. Police have also sought legal opinion on the issue.

Jung went further to say , “The SDM has no power to do so and he will be pulled up for this. He is liable for action for violating the law. The legal position is clear: only the area DCP has the power to impose and implement Section 144 of CrPC.“ The ban drew protests from civil society members as well. “I expected Arvind Kejriwal to provide more democratic space for protests. He was the one who had risen from protests,“ said Aruna Roy .

“It was expected of Arvind Kejriwal, since he has gone back on many of his promises,“ social activist Nikhil Dey said. “ As a product of protests, he should have allowed peaceful protesters to gather outside his house. That would have set an example. Arvind himself was an advocate of protesting outside people's homes.“

Jha's order had prohibited holding of public meetings, assembly of five or more people, processions, demonstrations, dharnas and speeches at Flag Staff Road, Civil Lines and in the neighbouring areas, including IP College and Tiraha at Shyamanath Marg. “It has been reported that political parties and pressure groups may hold protests, demonstrations... in front of, near or around the residence of the CM, which may create serious law and order problems,“ the order said. These protests need to be prohibited in order to “prevent public nuisance, obstruction to traffic and persons, danger to human lives or safety and public property“, it added.

2018: Delhi govt dubs LG’s panel on CCTVs illegal

Alok KN Mishra, May 11, 2018: The Times of India


The AAP government’s tussle with the lieutenant governor’s office saw yet another flashpoint on Thursday when the former declared a highlevel committee formed by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal to prepare a framework for installing, operating and monitoring CCTV cameras in the city as “illegal” and, thus, “null and void”.

Principal secretary (home) Manoj Parida, who was appointed chairman of the committee and asked by LG to submit his report within 30 days, has now been directed by PWD minister Satyendar Jain not to proceed with the task. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia called the committee “unconstitutional” and alleged that LG was trying to “obstruct” the CCTV project for which almost all formalities had been completed and the work order was likely to be given soon.

“LG wants to form the standard operating procedure without talking to the elected government. This is an attempt to put the project in cold storage. The committee was formed under a conspiracy to stop the work on (the) CCTV project,” the deputy chief minister said at a press conference where he advised LG to focus on law and order rather than “halting” projects of the AAP government.

The development coincides with Jain shooting off a strongly worded letter to LG on Thursday. He wrote: “The committee set up by you is illegal, unconstitutional and has been set up with the sole objective of obstructing the CCTV project.” He pointed out that “under the Constitution, LG’s job is to do good policing and prevent crime. Please concentrate on your job. It is the elected government’s job to install CCTV cameras. Please allow us to do our job”. Jain continued in the same vein: “You have sought to stretch the logic that CCTV is covered under law and order. By that logic, anything and everything will be covered under law and order.”

The tussle over this particular issue has been continuing for some time. Last month, the lieutenant governor held a meeting with officers of Delhi government officers and Delhi Police on the project status. The meeting prompted sharp reaction from the government, with Sisodia calling it “overstepping of the constitutional jurisdiction” by LG.

Installing CCTV cameras in the city was one of AAP’s key pre-poll promises. Though the project has progressed at snail’s space, the government in February finalised a concessionaire to install 1.4 lakh

CCTV cameras in different parts of the city. In 2015, cabinet approval was given to a Rs 130-crore project, the cost of which spiked to Rs 571.40 crore in 2018. This gave the Opposition ammunition to attack the AAP government. The project is now in the final stages of being awarded.

In his letter to LG, Jain pointed out that CCTV cameras were being successfully installed in the New Delhi Municipal Council areas. Under this model, RWAs, police, local residents and the company installing the cameras together decide the locations. “We will borrow NDMC’s standard operating procedure and the implementation model rather than inventing a new one,” Jain wrote.

The LG office didn’t respond to calls and SMSes from TOI over the issue.

2018, 2022-Jan 2023

The Times of India 14 Jan 2023


WHAT THE CM SAYS WHAT THE LG SAYS

Citing Supreme Court

  • On July 4, 2018, Constitutionbench of Supreme Court saidthe LG had not been entrustedwith any independent decisionmaking power (in context of thetransferred subjects), except onmatters where he exercises hisdiscretion as a judicial or quasijudicial authority under any law

Citing Delhi HC

  • In 1998, the OP Pahwa benchof the high court ruled upon howthe Motor Vehicles Act definesthe ‘government’ as ‘the LG’,saying that the LG has to acton the aid and advice of thegovernment of Delhi

On word ‘administrator’in Constitution

  • Every rule and law writtenabout Delhi has the word‘administrator’ in it because uptill 1992, an administrator used torun Delhi and the parliamentarysystem of governance onlycame later

On LG saying courtorder is just an opinion

  • LG says the ‘court’s order ismerely an opinion’. He says ‘I amthe administrator of Delhi andthe administrator can doanything he wishes’

On LG asking forcost analysis ofprevious trainingof teachers abroad

  • Did someone do a cost-benefitanalysis upon the post of aCM or LG?
  • Did someone assesswhether the LG office isbeneficial for the country?

Appoint constitutionaladviser

  • LG should appoint acapable and learnedconstitutional adviser in histeam so that there issomeone to tell himthat Supreme Court ordersare binding

Inquiries into ‘scams’related to excise policy,school and bus purchase

  • ‘Services’ is a discretionaryfunction of LG and ‘vigilance’ isa part of it
  • LG has constitutional authorityto direct investigation intoallegations of corruption by a public servant

Nomination of aldermen,presiding officer

  • Section 3(3)(b)(ii) of DMCAct, 1957 empowers the‘administrator’ to nominate10 people to be represented inthe corporation
  • Cites Section 77(a) onnomination of councillor to bethe presiding officer in theelection of mayor
  • Article 239AA(4) of theConstitution excludesdiscretionary functions from thepurview of aid and advice of thecouncil of ministers

Constitution of Haj Committee

  • Haj Committee Act, 2002 is a law made by Parliament under Entry 20 of the Union list. Article 239AA(4) of the Constitution provides for exercising functions by LG on aid and advice of council of ministers on matters within legislative competence of Delhi legislative assembly. It is not applicable on this proposal, being a subject matter of Union list

Files called by LG directly

  • 11 proposals for transplantation and felling of trees were stuck. LG raised the issue in meetings with the CM and even wrote to him twice
  • LG directed to call all such files/proposals pending with the minister in-charge for more than seven days under Rule 19(5) of the Transactions of Business of the GNCTD Rules, 1993 in public interest
  • The disposal was on the aid and advice of minister concerned and the chief minister

Reconstitution of search committee for appointment of DTU VC

  • The post is vacant since October 2021. The recommendations of search-cum-selection committee were placed for consideration of LG in July 2022
  • It was returned to CM to place on record the weightage assigned to the recommended candidates and for certifying they were clear from vigilance angle
  • The file was not resubmitted with requisite information
  • To expedite the filling of the post, the file was called under the provisions of Rule 19(5) of the Transaction of the Business of Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993

2015- 2023

Delhi: LG vis-à-vis CM, 2015- 2023
From: Atul Mathur, August 8, 2023: The Times of India


See graphic:

Delhi: LG vis-à-vis CM, 2015- 2023 '

The Impact Of the friction on the administration

Atul Mathur, August 8, 2023: The Times of India

New Delhi: For the past two and a half months, since the Centre promulgated the ordinance to override the Supreme Court judgment on services, there have been several friction points between the lieutenant governor and the chief minister.

From the appointment of bureaucrats to key positions and rising crimes in the city to the alleged insubordination by officers, inauguration of a new university campus and the appointment of a new chairman for the power regulator DERC, the elected government and the LG’s office have been at loggerheads on many occasions.


Officials, however, believe the new Act may bring some harmony in the working of the elected dispensation and the LG’s secretariat and there will be fewer skirmishes over governance issues.


At the core of the power tussle between the Centre and the LG on one side and the elected AAP dispensation in the other was a notification of Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) issued on May 21, 2015 that empowered the LG to have jurisdiction over “services” matters of Delhi government involving transfers and postings of bureaucrats.


While the Supreme Court judgment of May 11 this year gave the elected dispensation the much-awaited control over services, the Centre changed the power equation within days by bringing in the ordinance, which is now being given Parliament’s accordance in the form of an amendment in GNCTD Act. 


In the past eight years since the MHA notification, a long-drawn battle between the LG’s office and the AAP government, led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, has continued over a range of issues. The AAP dispensation moved court on more than a dozen occasions against decisions of the Centre and the LG since the GNCTD (Amendment) Act, 2021 was implemented two years ago, giving the LG primacy in governance of the city.


The face-off between the two sides intensified in the past one year after VK Saxena took over as LG in May 2022, and it got aggravated after promulgation of the ordinance. 


The first objection from the elected government was to the appointment of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission chairperson by the President on the recommendation of the Centre. The elected dispensation saw it as an attempt by the Centre to stop its free electricity scheme by having its own person heading the power regulator. The Supreme Court is hearing a separate case on the issue.

The AAP government also challenged National Green Tribunal’s decision to form two committees on the cleaning of the Yamuna and solid waste management under the chairmanship of the LG within days of the Centre bringing in the ordinance.

While the issue of the officers not following the directions of the ministers was raised by the elected dispensation even before the court judgment, the AAP government accused the officers of insubordination again, especially during the recent flood. Kejriwal even urged Saxena to remove the incumbent chief secretary.

The latest case of a tussle between the elected government and the LG’s secretariat was on the issue of removal of 437 “specialists” working in different departments and the Assembly as fellows, associate fellows, research officers and advisers. These specialists were removed on the basis of a report of the services department, alleging that rules were not followed in their appointment.

See also

Delhi: Statehood- legal, constitutional issues

Delhi: Lt. Governor vs. Chief Minister

Parliamentary secretaries: India

Puducherry

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