At a press conference, Arvind Kejriwal described as “historic” the Supreme Court’s decision that the Delhi government has both legislative and executive authority over services. Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, declared on Thursday that the Supreme Court’s decision recognising the Delhi government’s legislative and executive authority over services was “historic” and a significant win for the residents of the UT. Speaking to the media, Kejriwal claimed the AAP administration in Delhi was still doing an outstanding job despite having its hands constrained. “My hands were tied and I was thrown in the water. Despite all obstacles we did good work in Delhi,” Kejriwal said. “Today’s Supreme Court order is historic in many ways. It is a big victory for the people of Delhi against whom there has been injustice. The honorable Supreme Court has done justice to them,” he further stated.
The Delhi CM claimed that three months after the establishment of the government eight years prior, Prime Minister Narendra Modi obtained a Centre order directing that the L-G continue to be in charge of all service-related affairs pertaining to Delhi instead of the CM. According to the Delhi CM, administrative changes would soon be implemented in Delhi. Additionally, he stated that the officers’ transfers or adjustments would be made in accordance with their performance. “Officers who obstructed people’s work will have to face music, major reshuffle of officers on cards based on performance. The officers who are working honestly and doing hard work will be promoted,” the AAP supremo said. In a previous tweet, Kejriwal praised the decision, thanked the court, and said the decision will accelerate Delhi’s development.
The Supreme Court declared on Thursday that, with the exception of law and order and land, the Delhi government has legislative and executive control over “services,” including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), in a significant victory for the Delhi government amid a protracted legal battle with the Centre. A five-judge Constitution panel led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud ruled unanimously that the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) was bound by the Delhi government’s decision regarding services other than public order, police, and land. “Union territory Delhi has ‘sui generis’ (unique) character and has legislative and executive power over services,” the top court said. A democratically elected government’s accountability to the legislature and the people is diminished, the Supreme Court’s panel of justices, which included Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and P S Narasimha, argued.
“L-G shall exercise powers under the administrative role as entrusted by the President. Executive administration can only extend to matters which fall outside the scope of the legislative assembly…and it cannot mean administration over the entire NCT Delhi. Otherwise, the purpose of having a separate elected body in Delhi will be rendered futile,” the court said. “Democratically elected government shall have control over its officers. If officers are not responding to the government, the collective responsibility is diluted. If officers feel they are insulated from the elected government, they feel they are not accountable,” the top court further stated.