New Delhi, Sep 8: Delhi High Court today dismissed two petitions challenging the notifications issued by the Centre on powers of Lieutenant Governor (LG) in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital and the jurisdiction of Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB). A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Ashutosh Kumar referred to the August 4 judgement passed by a division bench of the high court and said these issue have already been dealt with in the verdict. “It is, therefore, clear that the arguments sought to be raised before us was also raised before the division bench 1 (which had delivered the August 4 judgement)….And the said arguments were rejected. The division bench has clearly held that directions in the said notifications (issued by Centre) were neither illegal nor unconstitutional,” the bench said.(ALSO READ: Delhi High Court sets aside AAP-government order appointing 21 Parliamentary secretaries)
The petitions had challenged the notifications issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on May 21 last year and July 23, 2014 empowering the LG to exercise powers in respect of matters connected with services and directing the ACB not to take cognizance of offences against officials and employees of the Central Government. During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh said the issues raised in the two petitions have already been dealt with in the August 4 judgement and the matter is now pending before the Supreme Court. The advocates appearing for the two petitioners contended that the issues raised by them were different and were not dealt with in the verdict.
A division bench of high court, headed by Chief Justice G Rohini, had passed the August 4 judgement on a batch of pleas arising out of the tussle between the Centre and the AAP government over LG’s administrative powers on governance of the national capital. It had held that service matters fell outside the purview of the Legislative Assembly and the Centre’s May 21, 2015 notification barring the ACB from proceeding against Central Government employees was “neither illegal nor unconstitutional”. The Supreme Court is likely to hear tomorrow a batch of six appeals filed by Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government, challenging Delhi High Court verdict that the LG is administrative head of the national capital.