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HC tells LG to respect people’s mandate; AAP jubilant


NEW DELHI: Dismissing the bail plea of a head constable of Delhi Police, who was arrested by the ACB of Delhi government, the Delhi High Court said Monday that the anti-corruption branch has jurisdiction to arrest policemen, adding Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor must respect people’s mandate.

The ruling came as a big relief to the belittled Delhi govt, led by AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal amid growing hostility with the Centre. The Narendra Modi-led Union government had recently issued a notification to end a week-long tussle of power between the Delhi CM and the LG who acts as the representative of the Centre.

The High Court said:

  • the Lt Governor must act on the ‘aid and advice of the council of ministers’
  • mandate of the people must be respected by the LG in respect of matters which fall within the domain of the Legislative assembly

The AAP government is going to hold a Cabinet meeting in the Central Park of Connaught Circus on Monday evening in an initiative to take governance to people with six thousand people expected to attend the meet. The govt has also called an emergency session of the Delhi assembly on Tuesday and Wednesday to deliberate on the issue.

AAP leaders maintain that all options are open for the government including challenging the notification in the court of law. The MHA notification has mentioned that the Lt Governor is the ‘administrative head’ of Delhi and ‘services’ were out of purview of the state government which is not authorised to take any action against employees who belong to the Central government even if they are working for Delhi administration.

The HC observed Monday that the 2014 central government notification of restricting the jurisdiction of the ACB was ‘wrong’.

“The LG must act on aid and advice of Council of Ministers in respect of matters which fall within legislative competence of the Delhi assembly. The NCT of Delhi shall not be administered by the President through the Lieutenant Governor in respect of matters over which the Legislative assembly of the NCT has authority to make laws,” the court added.