Manish Sisodia: Bureaucrats returning Delhi govt’s orders is contempt of court

Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal must follow the orders of the Supreme Court, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Thursday in another indication that the power tussle in the Union territory is far from over.

“How will the government function if the orders of the constitution bench are openly flouted in the country? This is in contempt of the court’s order,” Sisodia said during a press conference.

“The L-G will receive files regarding land, police and law and order and if he signs files other than those he will be disrespecting the court’s order,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader added.

Sisodia’s comments come after the AAP government issued an order on Wednesday withdrawing all powers of transfer and posting of IAS officers and other employees from the L-G, the chief secretary and heads of departments.

But the order issued by Sisodia was returned by bureaucrats in the evening on the grounds that it was “legally incorrect”. They said the issue of control over transfers and postings will be taken up by the regular bench of the Supreme Court.

Sisodia said on Thursday that the Delhi high court had issued an order against the AAP government two years ago and the party approached the Supreme Court against it but did not disrespect the lower court’s directives.

“We appeal to the Centre and the L-G that they must cooperate and let the Delhi government do its job,” he said.

The party even tweeted a cartoon depicting the “doorstep delivery” of the top court’s Wednesday order to the L-G.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Wednesday ruled in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, saying the real powers of governance of Delhi rest with the elected representatives and the Lieutenant Governor is bound to act on the aid and advice by the council of ministers.

It said in case of difference of opinion with the council of ministers, the LG has to refer the matter to the President, whose decision will be a binding. However, the court added that the provision under Article 239 does not mean the L-G can refer every matter to the President.

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