AAP ON BACK FOOT AFTER DELHI HC’S INTERIM ORDER

Even if interim, the interim order of the Delhi High Court has come as another jolt of the day for the Aam Aadmi Party.

Even if its leaders may take respite in the fact that the matter is sub-judice in Supreme Court and High Court and may chose to react accordingly (trying to look unfazed by the developments of the day), the reality of the day clearly goes against them.

Even if they shield behind the logic of the notice given by the HC to the Centre on Ministry of Home Affairs’ notification of May 21 that backs the lieutenant-governor on bureaucratic appointments and prevents the Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) of Delhi from taking cognizance of the offences committed by the Central Government employees, they will find the day’s developments hard to reconcile with.

Even if they say the orders are just the beginning and the SC has asked the AAP government to file its reply in three weeks on the Centre questioning the Delhi HC order on ACB jurisdiction and it will present its viewpoint on the court, an anti-AAP message has gone.

May 29, 2015 is a day when the AAP had to face two jolts, two negative developments, a day after the special session of Delhi assembly where the Central Government and the L-G had been lambasted, where anti-notification and anti-Union government resolutions were passed and where Arvind Kejriwal had openly challenged the Centre on interfering in Delhi through ‘such’ notifications.

First, the SC issued notice to the AAP government on the Centre’s plea about ACB jurisdiction saying the Delhi HC’s observation about the notification was not ‘binding’. Then there came the double whammy with the Delhi HC’s interim order which said the L-G was the constitutional head of Delhi and his orders were binding on the Delhi Government – till its conclusive orders.

It even didn’t pass any order on the Delhi Government’s proposal. The proposal said the government would send its decisions to the L-G for review and in case of any disagreement between the L-G and the Delhi council of ministers, the President’s words will be final. The HC passed the proposal to the L-G but refused to set any deadline.

After today’s developments, the AAP government has three weeks to explain in the SC that why the MHA notification violates the constitutional provisions and the laws governing Delhi vis-à-vis ACB’s jurisdiction.

And the Centre has six weeks to file an affidavit in the Delhi HC on its notification and how the transfers and postings were done in previous governments in Delhi.

Till the time an order comes, Najeeb Jung is the constitutional head of Delhi and will prevail in matters of bureaucratic appointments including the latest order by Arvind Kejriwal transferring nine bureaucrats where he did not consult the L-G.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

CM VS LG ROW: SC ASKS DELHI HC TO RULE ON MHA NOTIFICATION FIRST

As expected to be among the expectations from the court in the ongoing row between the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Delhi lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung, the Supreme Court of India has asked the Delhi High Court to hear the Aam Aadmi Party’s (APP) plea against the gazette notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs first (MHA).

In doing so, the apex court has taken a neutral stand for any concerned stakeholder in this case, the Union Government led the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Delhi Government led by the AAP.

While it told that the Delhi HC order calling the MHA notification ‘suspect’ was tentative, at the same time, it refused to put any stay on the Delhi HC order on jurisdiction of Delhi’s Anti-corruption Bureau. It has also asked the AAP government to file a reply within three week on the Centre’s plea seeking to put a stay on the Delhi HC order. It said it would go ‘into’ the issue later.

It has asked the Delhi HC to rule on the MHA notification first that whether it violates the constitutional norms and various laws governing Delhi. The apex court has said that it wants the Delhi HC to listen to the matter objectively and without any influence, including the ‘suspect’ comment by a HC judge, and therefore it is not passing any comment.

So, till the time Delhi HC comes with a ruling, the status-quo on the MHA notification is maintained, means the bureaucratic appointments in Delhi would remain under the L-G. The HC ruling would also clear the ACB’s jurisdiction.

And it is also clear that the losing stakeholder in this case would move to the Supreme Court to overturn the decision of the Delhi HC – be it the AAP or the BJP.

So, let’s see how it goes in the Delhi HC – the next stage of the legal battle, the only logical way out in the ongoing CM Vs L-G or Delhi Government Vs Centre row.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

‘COURTS’ TO HEAR CENTRE AND AAP TODAY: THE ONLY LOGICAL WAY OUT

So, it is happening now and today is the day when the most logical phase of ‘politically’ motivated war begins.

Day before yesterday, the Union Home Ministry (MHA) filed a plea in the Supreme Court against May 25 Delhi High court order denying bail to a Delhi Police constable arrested by the Delhi’s Anti-corruption Bureau and calling the notification issued by the Union Home Ministry ‘suspect’ in the process.

The Supreme Court is to hear it today.

Yesterday, the Aam Aadmi Party moved Delhi High Court against the May 21 gazette notification of MHA that backed the Lieutenant-Governor. The notification was issued after interpretation of laws governing Delhi (including the Indian Constitution) and told us that bureaucratic appointments in Delhi were the exclusive domain of the L-G and also that the Delhi ACB could not take cognizance of offences committed by the Central Government employees.

The Delhi High Court is to hear it today.

Let’s see if any observation or order comes today. Or there are chances that the issue requires more hearing(s).

Let’s see if further dates are required (that is a valid possibility in this issue) and court refers the issue to the constitutional experts. Let’s see if Delhi High Court says it would wait for the Supreme Court hearing the matter first as the AAP has filed the plea against the whole MHA notification. Simultaneously, the AAP has also filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to hear its stand before passing any order.

Now, the apex court will decide jurisdiction of the ACB on the Centre’s plea. In doing so, it will certainly interpret and lay down the constitutional norms. The Centre has moved the SC with a plea demanding overturning the High Court’s order on ACB reiterating the stand taken in the MHA notification.

But also, as the High Court is to hear a plea against the whole notification including the ACB part, alternatively, the Supreme Court may ask the High Court to interpret the constitutional validity of the notification first.

Let’s wish courts are here on the same page here.

If it comes out to be what Kejriwal is trying to prove, we will see an even more aggressive Kejriwal on the whole issue. On the other hand, anything contrary would force him to reconsider his moves. And the possible responses would include playing ‘victim’ card again, like he did during the campaigning phase this time, readily apologizing for ‘deserting Delhi in just 49 days’ during his first term – the 49 days that now find a proud mention on the AAP website for achievements accrued then.

Who is the boss in Delhi in the ongoing CV Vs L-G row can be decided only by a court because the kind of politics Kejriwal has displayed after taking over the chief minister’s office on February 14 this year, he would not accept any interpretation by the Centre, even if it comes through the President.

And since it is in ‘courts’ now – in country’s apex court and in Delhi’s top court – its concluding part begins today.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

KEJRIWAL’S WORDS EPITOMIZE SPECIAL SESSION OF DELHI ASSEMBLY

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s words epitomized the two day special session of Delhi assembly that ended today.

His concluding speech (or parting shot) captured the essence with which the special session was called.

He challenged the Central government, that is led by Narendra Modi of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on interfering in affairs of the Delhi government and warned it on ‘trying to take over Delhi through the Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung’.

The two day assembly session on May 26 and 27 was a confrontationist response of Kejriwals’s attitude on the notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs on May 21. The notifications makes bureaucratic appointment an exclusive domain of the L-G and also bars the Delhi Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) from taking cognizance against the Central Government employees.

Scathing, even unparliamentary words were used against the L-G. He was blamed to run to save his post by indulging in activities against the Delhi government. Centre was again and again blamed for ‘running Delhi by proxy’ after its humiliating electoral loss that reduced the largest party of December 2013 assembly polls to just three seats in February 2015. A demand was made to give the Delhi assembly powers to ‘impeach’ the L-G. Resolutions against the Centre were passed. Its ministers including Narendra Modi were targeted. An AAP MLA tore the MHA notification.

Delhi High Court’s observation that called the notification ‘suspect’ while rejecting bail to a Delhi Police constable booked by the ACB was quoted behind the logic and constitutional interpretation given by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders.

To sum up, Arvind Kejriwal, with his concluding remarks, refused to obey the MHA notification. He had done so already with his many defying acts including the one of transfer of officials a day ago without the informing the L-G. He chose the assembly for his political power display. And he chose the Delhi assembly to further his political message.

He said it was not a constitutional crisis but was a political one, created by the Centre. He said the Delhi assembly could take care of the salary heads of bureaucrats under it and they should discharge their duties without any fear.

Now, we cannot say whom they are, the bureaucrats, repulsive of – Kejriwal or the Centre. And going by the conduct of Kejriwal and his government in the Delhi, he is to carry the blame for it.

The row that began with Shakuntala Gamlin’s appointment as Delhi’s acting chief secretary saw heads of other civil services officials roll in an ugly public display. IAS officers have held two meetings since then and reports say they are not happy with the situation and want a solution at the earliest. But from the developments so far, we can say, it is not the Centre, but the state government IAS officers are miffed at.

And while saying so, we did not get any indications that he was going to the court the next morning against the MHA notification. He said he would oppose it (and the Centre) come what may but he did not give us any hint about the simplest and the most logical outcome of the logjam – the court interpretation of the constructional provisions and other laws governing Delhi.

Given the kind of stuff Kejriwal is made up of, he would not accept any interpretation by the Centre, even if it comes through the President.

And given the politics involved in interpretation of constitutional provisions, he would love to drag it as far as possible. After all, it would give him a chance to divert attention from his unfulfilled promises and a shabby governance so far (in his 100 days). Yes, he has been a big letdown for Delhi and for those who went for the political experiment called the AAP.

Let’s see how long the issue lasts constitutionally?

The Home Ministry filed an SLP (Special Leave Petition) in the Supreme Court today against the Delhi High Court order of May 25 denying bail to the constable. It has come quickly even if we were expecting the move from stakeholders.

Now, the apex court will decide jurisdiction of the ACB. In doing so, it will certainly interpret and lay down the constitutional norms. If it comes out to be what Kejriwal is trying to prove, we will see an even more aggressive Kejriwal on the whole issue. On the other hand, anything contrary would force him to reconsider his moves. And the possible responses would include playing ‘victimization’ card.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/