Hours after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s statement hinting at an ordinance to overturn the Supreme Court verdict, the Centre on late Friday evening promulgated an ordinance to create an authority, to be headed by the Chief Minister, for transfer and posting of Group-A officers in Delhi, including IAS officers.
The ordinance, issued a week after the Supreme Court handed over the control of services in Delhi excluding police, public order and land to the elected government as mentioned in the original law, has provided for a new National Capital Civil Service Authority for transfer of and disciplinary proceedings against Group-A officers from the DANICS cadre.
About the authority
“With a view to give effect to the intent and purpose behind the provisions of Article 239AA, a permanent authority headed by the democratically elected Chief Minister of Delhi along with Chief Secretary, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) the head of the administration representing the will of the officers of GNCTD and the Principal Secretary Home, GNCTD is being introduced to make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor regarding matters concerning transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters.
“This would statutorily balance the interest of the nation with the interest of Union Territory of Delhi in administration of the capital by giving purposeful meaning to the manifestation of democratic will of people reposed both in the Central Government as well as the GNCTD,” the notification said.
It added that the authority shall decide all matters by a majority of votes of the members present and voting. Also, all recommendations of the authority shall be authenticated by the member secretary, it said.
SC verdict overturned
The notification also referred to the Supreme Court verdict on May 11 and pointed out that there was no mention dealing with the subject of services in the law, a scheme of administration has to be formulated by Parliamentary law, to balance both local and national democratic interests which are at stake, which would reflect the aspirations of the people through joint and collective responsibility of both the Government of India and the GNCTD.
The central government, in consultation with the authority, shall determine the nature and the categories of officers and other employees required to assist the authority in the discharge of its functions and provide the authority with such officers and employees, as it may deem fit, the notification said.
Transfer and postings of all officers of the Delhi government were under the executive control of the Lieutenant Governor before the SC verdict.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena locked horns over the verdict on services matters, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging a “conspiracy” to overturn the ruling and the LG accusing the AAP dispensation of disregarding rules and procedures.
Reacting to the development, AAP chief spokesperson and Services Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said the Centre had deceived the people of Delhi. Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Atishi said the Centre’s ordinance is a clear-cut case of contempt of court as it is against the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court’s constitution bench.
Hours before the ordinance was promulgated, Kejriwal and his ministers had met Saxena separately over the transfer of Services Secretary Ashish More. “There is widespread talk of the Centre bringing an ordinance to overturn the SC verdict. I hope that these are complete rumours and there is no truth in them,” Kejriwal had said after the meeting.