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Delhi: Day After Legal Win, AAP Govt Moves SC Alleging Centre Blocking Services Secretary’s Transfer

Under Article 141 of the Constitution, there can be contempt of SC's order and a bench needs to hear this urgently, Delhi government’s counsel AM Singhvi said.

Image Courtesy: PTI

New Delhi: A day after the Supreme Court held it has legislative and executive powers over all but three services, the Delhi government moved the apex court on Friday alleging the Centre was not implementing the decision to transfer its services secretary, a potential flashpoint in the running feud between the two.

The city's AAP government said the Centre may be held liable for contempt of court.

In a major victory for the Aam Aadmi Party dispensation in its protracted battle with the Centre, the apex court had ruled on Thursday that the Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over the administration of all services, except for public order, police and land.

Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, mentioned the matter before a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice P S Narasimha, saying the top court delivered the judgment just yesterday (Thursday) and now there can be contempt.

Under Article 141 of the Constitution, there can be contempt of this court's order and a bench needs to hear this urgently, Singhvi said.

"They are saying we will not transfer anybody. I can file contempt in view of judgement passed yesterday. But it will take time. So kindly list the matter," he said.

Chief Justice Chandrachud said he will constitute a bench to hear the matter next week.

Ashish More, Secretary of the Delhi government's Services Department, was removed from his post on Thursday, hours after the Supreme Court gave the AAP dispensation control over the transfer and posting of officers in the city.

Former Delhi Jal Board CEO A K Singh, a 1995-batch (AGMUT cadre) IAS officer, will replace More.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by the CJI on Thursday gave a unanimous verdict about control over the services in the national capital, seeking to putting an end to the eight-year dispute between the Centre and the Delhi government.

Against the backdrop of frequent run-ins between the AAP government and the Centre's point person, the lieutenant governor, the apex court had said an elected government needs to have control over bureaucrats, failing which the principle of collective responsibility will be adversely affected.

Elaborating on the Delhi government's powers, the SC said in its Thursday verdict legislative and executive power over services such as Indian Administrative Service, or Joint Cadre services, which are relevant for the implementation of policies and vision of the Delhi government in terms of day-to-day administration of the region, shall lie with it.

The Arvind Kejriwal government has been alleging that bureaucrats belonging to All India Services and joint UT cadres like DANICS (Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Civil Services) are not following the administrative directions of the elected government.

Referring to the triple chain of command to ensure democratic accountability, the SC said civil servants are accountable to the ministers and they, in turn, are accountable to Parliament or the state legislatures.

Hours after the SC pronounced the verdict, the city government's services secretary was transferred and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a comprehensive administrative reshuffle will follow.

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