New Delhi: A full-blown turf war has begun between the Centre and the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government, with the Union home ministry on Wednesday taking the matter to the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court order that had termed as ‘suspect’ a notification issued by it, barring the Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch from acting against its officials, including those of Delhi police.
The MHA’s move to move the Supreme Court came on a day the Delhi Assembly passed a resolution rejecting the Centre’s notification giving more powers to the Lieutenant-Governor. A special leave petition was filed by the MHA in the court registry Wednesday evening challenging the High Court’s May 25 order while hearing the bail application of a Delhi Police constable arrested by the ACB on bribery charges.
The MHA maintains that the ACB has no jurisdiction over its officials. Sources say the SLP will primarily argue that the high court had made the observations without hearing its views. Home ministry sources also indicated that since the issue concerns ‘constitutional propriety’, the Supreme Court would be the best and final arbiter in the matter.
MHA sources pointed out that by striking down a part of the notification, the Delhi HC has put the entire notification in limbo, and this would only fuel the confrontation and hence a comprehensive clarification on the matter was required by the Supreme Court.
The ongoing row between the MHA and the Delhi government escalated when the ministry issued a gazette notification on May 21 that the Central officials are not under ACB’s purview.