Jung-Kejriwal feud: Know what Constitution says about two power centres in Delhi

New Delhi, may 22: In the wake of ongoing tussle between Delhi chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, Centre on Friday issued a notification.

Read more: Home ministry notification shows BJP is nervous, says Arvind Kejriwal

Backing Jung, the Centre in the notification said that Governor is not bound to consult Delhi Chief Minister on the matter of appointments of the Bureaucrats.

LG-Kejriwal tussle: Know the Rules

In an implicit message, the Central Government has given clear message to Kejriwal that Najeeb Jung is the supreme authority in the Delhi and he didn't do any wrong when he appointed Shakuntala Gamlin as action Chief Secretary  

It is worth to know what rule really states about this constitutional crisis in Delhi. Who can appoint bureaucrats in Delhi as it is not a full fledged state and a union territory. Whether Lt governor can overwrite democratically elected government or not?

Here is all the details about the same.

Delhi is an union territory

  • Delhi and Puducherry are the two Union Territories of India which have been accorded with partial statehood status.
  • In seventh Schedule of the Constitution, Delhi is defined as National Capital Territory of India or NCT-Delhi.
  • Governments of Delhi and Puducherry both are headed by their respective Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors.

Kejriwal Vs jung

  • Arvind Kejriwal maintains that as Delhi is a semi-State so he has full right to appoint his choice of Bureaucrats.
  • On the other hand Jung maintains that he can override Kejriwal and can take decision independently.

Provisions in the Constitution over the appointments

  • Though Constitution has got provisions to deal with the same but it is little vague.
  • In Article 239AA special provisions are there which states clearly who can override others in case of any difference of the opinions.
  • Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1993 is another provision in the Constitution which tries to deal with the issue in case of any confusion of power and responsibility.

Article 239AA

  • According to delhiassembly official website, as from the date of commencement of the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 the Union Territory of Delhi shall be called the National Capital Territory) and the administrator there of appointed under article 239 shall be designated as the Lieutenant Governor.
  • The Councils of the Ministers headed by the CM will advise the Lieutenant Governor in the exercise to his functions in relation to matters with respect to which the Legislative Assembly has power to make laws, except in so far as he is, by or under any law, required to act in his discretion. 
  • In the case of difference of opinion between the Lieutenant Governor and his Ministers on any matter, the Lieutenant Governor shall refer it to the President for decision and act according to the decision given thereon by the President

Transaction of Business Rules

  • It clearly defines power of both Governor and Chief Minister, but still the rule is interpreted differently by the experts.
  • This rule states that Governor can take decision but in case of confusion councils of Ministers must be consulted
  • Under Chapter IV with title 'Disposal of business relating to Lieutenant Governor's Executive Functions' discuss all these points.
  • Here is what it states "With respect to persons serving in connection with the administration of the National Capital Territory, the Lieutenant Governor shall, exercise such powers and perform such functions as may be entrusted to him under the provisions of the rules and orders regulating the conditions of service of such persons or by any other order of the President in consultation with the Chief Minister, if it is so provided under any order issued by the President under article 239 of the Constitution".

Legal fraternity divided

  • "Strong case can be made out to suggest that the exercise of the power by the government of Delhi cannot be overruled by the Lt. Governor as this could violate the constitutional scheme", senior counsel Gopal Subramanium said.
  • Comrade turned critic of Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan said, "From the constitutional point of view, Delhi government has a very limited executive power. The basic administrative powers are vested in the Lt. Governor. The power of Delhi government can always be superseded by the President".

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