Delhi Vs Centre: SC Brings Clarity To Separation Of Powers, But Refers Issue Of Services To Larger BenchThe Supreme Court of India. 

The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan was today (Thursday, 14 February 2019) divided on the issue of whether the appointment and transfer of officers of State Public Services would come under the purview of the Delhi government or the Centre, reports Live Law. The issue of services will now be adjudicated by a larger bench.

Justice Sikri was of the opinion that transfers and postings of officers at and above the Joint Secretary level fall within the powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, while other officers would come under the Delhi government’s control.

Justice Bhushan disagreed on this issue, stating that services were completely beyond the ambit of the Delhi government’s powers.

As for other points regarding the division of powers between the Delhi government and the Centre, the bench was unanimous in its views. It ruled that the Central government is the competent authority vis-a-vis the Commission of Inquiry Act and the Anti Corruption Bureau while the Delhi government has control over the Electricity Board and gets to decide the appointment of the Public Prosecutor.

This is the latest development in an ongoing tug-of-war between the BJP-led Central government and the AAP-led Delhi government over the delineation of powers in the National Capital Territory. The Centre has consistently argued that Delhi being the country’s capital is in a unique position and cannot be solely governed by the Delhi government.

The AAP government has accused the Lieutenant Governor of working at the behest of the BJP government and trying to throttle its authority.

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