Buoyed by the Supreme Court verdict that decisions of the Delhi government did not need the agreement of the Lieutenant Governor, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday held a cabinet meeting with officials and directed them to expedite projects like doorstep delivery of rations and installation of CCTV cameras. Also Read - Coronavirus Cases in Delhi Cross 1.45 Lakh-mark, Kejriwal Says Situation Under Control | Top Developments
In the eight-minute long meeting, the officials were directed to work as per the Supreme Court’s orders, said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. Also Read - Delhi Sexual Assault Case: BJP Claims 'Lawlessness', Congress Waves Black Flags Outside AIIMS
Sisodia said with the apex court’s verdict on the power tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government, the AAP dispensation does not need to get its every decision approved by Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal. Also Read - Open Hotels, Gyms, Weekly Markets in Delhi: Kejriwal's 3 Proposals For Unlock 3
“…Directed all functionaries of Del govt to function according to the order of Hon’ble SC. Also directed to expedite proposals of doorstep delivery of rations and CCTV now (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted after the meeting. Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, Home Secretary Manoj Parida, Finance Secretary Renu Sharma and Law Secretary Anoop Kumar Mendiratta entered the Cabinet room at 3.59 pm and exited it at 4.07 pm. The officers were accompanied by police officials.
The meeting was initially scheduled at the chief minister’s residence, but it was later shifted to the Delhi Secretariat.
An official said around a dozen proposals such as doorstep delivery of ration, CCTV cameras, regularisation of contractual employees, appointment of teachers will be expedited after the apex court’s order.
The Delhi government also introduced a new system for transfer and posting of bureaucrats, making Kejriwal as the approving authority.
So far, the Lieutenant Governor has been the approving authority for transfers and postings of the IAS and DANICS (Delhi, Anadaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Services) officers.
However, senior bureaucrats working with the Delhi government claimed that ‘services matter’ still lies with the office of Lt Governor because Delhi is a union territory, and services matter does not fall under the concurrent and state lists.
A top officer, requesting anonymity, said the Appropriate Regular Bench of the Supreme Court will take a final decision on the service matters and other issues.
Another officer claimed that the apex court has not set aside the May, 2015 notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to which services matter lies with the L-G.
As per an order issued by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Delhi Administrative Subordinate Services (DASS) Grade-I, II, principal secretary and private secretary will come under the Deputy CM, who will be responsible for their transfer and posting.
Minister-in-charge will have a say in transfer and posting of other officials such as stenos.
Addressing a press conference here, Sisodia said the central government and lieutenant governor had “misinterpreted” rules by adding services matter in “reserved subjects” and they should “apologise” for this.
Sisodia said the Delhi government doesn’t need to get its decision approved by the L-G.
In a landmark order, the Supreme Court on Wednesday clipped the powers of the L-G, saying he has no “independent decision making power” and has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government.
The judgement by a five-judge constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, laid down broad parameters for the governance of the national capital, which has witnessed a bitter power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government since the Aam Aadmi Party government came to power in 2014.
(With inputs from agencies)