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Centre's ordinance 'unconstitutional', will challenge it in Supreme Court: Kejriwal

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Bhaskar Hari Sharma

Published on: May 20, 2023 | Updated on: May 20, 2023

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI)

NEW DELHI: Soon after the Centre on Saturday moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its May 11 verdict, which held the Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over services except for public order, police and land, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at the Centre over the ordinance related to the transfer and posting of officers. The Delhi CM said they will challenge it while terming the move "unconstitutional" and a "direct challenge" to the "majesty and power of the Supreme Court".
In its review petition, the Centre told the apex court that the judgment ignores the fact that the functioning of the government in the capital "affects the nation as a whole".

The Centre has also filed an application in the SC seeking an open court hearing of the review petition, saying the matter pertains to the functioning of the government machinery of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and "grave injustice would ensue" if the plea for an oral hearing is not allowed.

Calling the ordinance unconstitutional, the Delhi CM charged that the Centre has entered into a direct confrontation with the apex court over the issue of control over services matter as the ordinance "overturns" its verdict, giving control to the elected government in Delhi.

Mr Kejriwal alleged that it is an "insult" and contempt of the apex court. In such a situation, every time the court comes out with any judgement against the Centre, they will overturn it, he charged.

The ordinance by the Union government seeks to set up a National Capital Civil Service Authority for the transfer of and disciplinary proceedings against IAS and DANICS cadre officers.

The Delhi CM will be the chairperson of the authority and the chief secretary and the principal home secretary of the Delhi government will be its members. All matters required to be decided by the authority will be decided by the majority vote of the members present and voting. In the event of a difference of opinion, the decision of the L-G will be final.  

The Centre brought the ordinance to overturn the SC verdict on the services matter just hours after the apex court had shut for vacation.

The AAP convener appealed to the Opposition parties not to let the related bill pass through the Rajya Sabha and added that he will also meet with the leaders of the Opposition parties.

"I will also go door to door to the people in Delhi and the AAP will also take to the streets against the ordinance because it snatches the powers of the Delhi people," he said, claiming the ordinance was a ploy to stop his government's work.

The party will also hold a mega rally against the Centre's move to bring the ordinance, he said.

Mr Kejriwal also alleged that the Centre was attacking the federal structure of the country by preventing elected governments from functioning and that it will not stand the scrutiny of the court for "even five minutes".
"The Supreme Court closed for summer break on Friday evening and they (Centre) brought this ordinance in the night. The SC verdict came on May 11. Why did they not bring the ordinance then?" he asked.