AAP celebrates Supreme Court ruling, Kejriwal says court has done justice

Delhi minister Gopal Rai said the ruling had a national significance as the Modi government was trying to destabilize states which had elected non-BJP governments

A Raj Niwas order issued on April 27 cited reports on alleged “gross irregularities” in the renovation of Kejriwal's residence by the PWD. File photo

Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday hailed as a “victory for democracy” the Supreme Court ruling giving the elected government supreme powers over the bureaucracy, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressing his “heartfelt thanks” to the judiciary.

Immediately after the widely anticipated judgement, the AAP, which has continuously ruled Delhi since 2015, tweeted: “The elected government will have the power over transfer-posting of officers. Officers will work only through the elected government.”

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It made it clear, echoing the thrust of the Supreme Court ruling, that the Central government-appointed Lt Governor will have no power over the city’s officers to stop the work taken up for the people of Delhi.

Kejriwal, who had not been going to the Delhi Secretariat for months, was happy after the dragging legal war against the Modi government. He expressed his “heartfelt thanks” to the Supreme Court for “doing justice to the people of Delhi”.

Larger significance

Delhi minister Gopal Rai told the media that the judicial ruling had a national significance too as the Modi government, he said, was trying to destabilize states that had elected non-BJP governments.

“This is a big win for the people of Delhi. This is also a win for governments that are fighting the Centre’s constant attempt to dislodge elected governments.”

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Atishi Singh, one of the newly appointed ministers, said: “People of Delhi have triumphed. The Supreme Court has again upheld the elected government of Delhi. The court has again emphasized the importance of an elected government.”

She too made it clear that all officers were directly accountable to the elected government of Delhi.

Minister and three-time MLA Saurab Bhardwaj told The Federal: “The Supreme Court has given to the residents of Delhi their due.”

Kejriwal reacts

Kejriwal, who did not address the media, expressed his “heartfelt thanks” to the Supreme Court for “doing justice to the people of Delhi” and said the pace of

The chief minister said the pace of development will not increase manifold in the national capital.

In a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court ruled that the elected Delhi government had legislative and executive powers over “services” – an official euphemism for bureaucracy.

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AAP Rajya Sabha member Raghav Chadha called the verdict a “landmark decision” and said it sends a stern message.

“Satyamev Jayate. Delhi wins. (The) landmark judgment sends a stern message that officers working with the government of Delhi are meant to serve (the) people of Delhi through the elected government and not unelected usurpers parachuted by Centre to stall governance, namely LG.”

Atishi Singh added: “After a long battle, the Supreme Court given the Kejriwal government its right… Congratulations everyone!”

The tussle

Hearing the Centre-versus-Delhi government case over the demarcation of powers, a constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said an elected government needs to have control over the administration.

It refused to agree with Justice Ashok Bhushan’s 2019 judgment that the city government has no power over the issue of services.

The constitution bench was set up to hear the legal issue concerning the scope of legislative and executive powers of the Centre and the National Capital Territory government over control over “services” in Delhi.

(With agency inputs)