A contentious central order that sought to take control of Delhi’s bureaucracy, skirting a Supreme Court verdict, has been challenged by the Delhi government in the top court, officials said on Friday, in the latest escalation of the bitter feud.
The Delhi government, led by Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has filed a petition challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance, which was introduced by the BJP-led central government on May 19. The ordinance establishes a National Capital Civil Service Authority to manage the transfer and disciplinary proceedings against Group-A officers in Delhi.
The ordinance came into force just a week after a Supreme Court ruling transferred control of bureaucrats in the national capital’s administration, excluding police, public order, and land, to the elected government, led by the AAP.
Before the May 11 top court ruling, all officer transfers and postings in the Delhi government were under the executive control of the Lieutenant Governor, appointed by the central government.
The Delhi government called the centre’s ordinance – a law yet to be cleared by parliament – a circumvention of the Supreme Court verdict on control of services. “The ordinance of the central government should be immediately struck down,” the petition stated.
The AAP has also announced a series of public protests against the ordinance. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will burn copies of the ordinance at the party’s central Delhi office on July 3, AAP officials said.
AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj, who is also a minister in the Kejriwal cabinet, outlined an extensive protest plan during a press conference. He said copies of the ordinance will be burned across all 70 assembly constituencies of the national capital.
“On July 3, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, cabinet ministers, and all the MLAs will burn copies of the black ordinance at the ITO party office. Then on July 5, the copies of the ordinance will be burned across all 70 parliamentary constituencies,” he said.
“Between July 6 and July 13, the copies of the ordinance will be set on fire at every nook and corner of Delhi. The seven vice presidents will ensure that they are burned in every area of Delhi,” Mr Bhardwaj added.
Dilip Pandey, Jarnail Singh, Gulab Singh, Jitender Tomar, Rituraj Jha, Rajesh Gupta, and Kuldeep Kumar, the seven vice presidents of the party, were present at the press conference where the announcement was made.
Mr Bhardwaj accused the Centre of attempting to take “illegal” control of Delhi through the “black ordinance.”
The party had previously organised a huge public rally against the ordinance on June 11.