Centre moves SC seeking review of judgment on control of services in Delhi

Centre moves SC seeking review of judgment on control of services in Delhi
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New Delhi, May 20: The Centre on Saturday moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its May 11 judgment, wherein the court had ruled that it is ideal to hold that a democratically-elected Delhi government should have control over its officers, including IAS officers, and the Lieutenant Governor is bound by the advice of the elected government in everything other than public order, police, and land.

The development came a day after the Centre decided to promulgate an ordinance setting up a permanent authority known as the National Capital Civil Service Authority, comprising Delhi Chief Minister as its chairperson, the chief secretary, and the principal secretary (home), to make recommendations to the Delhi L-G regarding matters concerning transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters.

The ordinance said that in case of difference of opinion, the decision of the L-G shall be deemed final. Therefore, the ordinance was apparently brought in to negate the apex court's judgment.

The review petition, filed by the Centre, said: "To the extent the said judgment holds that the ideal conclusion would be that GNCTD ought to have control over 'services', subject to exclusion of subjects which are out of its legislative domain as the ministers who are charged with formulating policies in the territory of NCTD would be excluded from controlling the civil service officers would be anti-democratic is completely self-contradictory, in ignorance of the submissions made before the bench and further ex-facie an error apparent."

The Centre said the apex court has itself held that the Parliament has legislative competence over all matters in List II and List III in relation to NCTD, including the entries which have been kept out of the legislative domain of NCTD by virtue of Article 239AA(3)(a).

"Despite holding the same, the said judgment ignores the clear exercise of power of the Parliament over the subject matter," it said.

The review petition contended that the May 11 judgment suffers from an error apparent on the face of the record as it has not dealt with the arguments of the Union government that the Constitution has never contemplated a separate service cadre for Union Territories.

"This is for the simple reason that a Union Territory is a mere extension of the Union of India and persons working in Union Territories are working in services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union government," it said.

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