Home Ministry order row to come up before SC, HC tomorrow

Thursday, May 28, 2015,20:18 IST By metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The legal tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government over the Home Ministry notification clipping the powers of the AAP dispensation today reached the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.
The Supreme Court will tomorrow hear Centre’s plea challenging Delhi High Court order terming as suspect its notification barring Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch (ACB) from acting against its officers in criminal offences, and holding that the LG cannot act in his discretion.
The Centre’s petition was mentioned today before a vacation bench, comprising Justices A K Sikri and U U Lalit, by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, who said that the observations made by the High Court led to total uncertainty and made everyday administration of national capital difficult.
Irked by the notification that gives the Lieutenant Governor absolute powers in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital, the AAP government moved the Delhi High Court challenging it. The petition mentioned before a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva, said, The Delhi government has decided to move against the Ministry of Home Affair’s (MHA’s) May 21 notification.
As per the notification, the LG would have jurisdiction over matters connected with services, public orders, police and land, and…services of bureaucrats…allowing him discretionary powers to seek the opinion of the CM, it said. In its plea in the apex court, Centre said that there was a need for clear interpretation of Article 239 AA of the Constitution in the balance of equation between the Delhi government and the LG.
When the bench said that the High Court has only used the word suspect, the ASG submitted that a clarification is needed. He said that the High Court observartions and findings have come while dealing with the bail application of the policeman who was arrested by the ACB.
Delhi government has also filed a caveat to pre-empt passing of an ex parte order. In the application it has said that before passing any order, the city government be given an opportunity to make its stand clear.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had yesterday moved a petition before the apex court challenging May 25 order of the High Court which was hearing bail application of a Delhi Police constable arrested by ACB of Delhi Government on bribery charges. The findings of the high court were part of a judgement in which it held that the anti-corruption branch of the NCT government has the jurisdiction to arrest policemen.
The AAP government in Delhi and the LG have been involved in a public spat over his powers vis a vis an elected government. The Centre had on May 21 issued a notification siding with the Lt Governor. The High Court had dismissed the bail application of a head constable, who was arrested by the ACB in a corruption case. It had also held that the LG cannot act in his discretion.
The petition was mentioned by Delhi government standing counsel Raman Duggal who also said that he has challenged all notifications issued by the Centre in the past. The bench has listed the matter for hearing tomorrow.