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Supreme Court's split verdict on control of services against 'constitution and democracy', says Kejriwal

File photo of Arvind Kejriwal. Photograph:( AFP )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 14, 2019, 05.42 PM (IST)

Claiming that the Supreme Court's split verdict on the contentious issue of control of services in the National Capital Territory is against "constitution and democracy", Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday said the AAP government will seek legal remedies.

At a press conference after the apex court order, he accused the BJP-led government at the centre of creating hurdles in the functioning of the AAP dispensation and appealed to the people to elect AAP candidates in all the seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital in the upcoming general elections to help the party achieve full-statehood for Delhi.

"The judgment is against constitution and democracy. We will seek legal remedies," Kejriwal said, adding it was an "injustice to the people" of Delhi.
"The people of Delhi helped us win 67 of 70 seats. An elected government doesn't even have the power to transfer officers, but those with three seats (BJP) do. How will the government function if we can't transfer non-performing officials?" he posed.

"The solution to the problem lies with the people of Delhi. I appeal to the residents not to see the polls as only to elect a prime minister. Please give all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi to the AAP. We will force the government at the Centre to give full statehood to Delhi," the AAP national convener said.

In a jolt to the AAP dispensation, the Supreme Court Thursday delivered a split verdict on the contentious issue of control of services in the National Capital Territory between the Delhi government and the Centre and referred the matter to a larger bench.

A two-judge bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, however, agreed on their views on disputes pertaining to the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), setting up of a commission of inquiry, control over electricity boards, land revenue matters and appointment of public prosecutors.

The apex court also upheld the Centre's notification that its employees cannot be probed in corruption cases by ACB of Delhi government.

Claiming the court order states the elected government has no power to transfer officers, Kejriwal sought to know how the AAP dispensation will work and said the chief minister of Delhi does not have the power to appoint even a peon.

"We have been suffering for the last four years. For every work and forgetting each file cleared, if the Delhi chief minister and his ministers have to hold protests and sit on hunger strike at the L-G house, how will the government work? What sort of democracy is it?" he asked.

On former Delhi chief minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit's comments that according to the constitution "Delhi government doesn't have unlimited powers and, the L-G and the MHA also have control over many things", Kejriwal said his predecessor should refrain from making such statements for short-term political gains.

"I respect Sheila Dikshit ji. I appeal to her not to make such comments. We don't even have 10 per cent of the power that her government had. Didn't she have the power to transfer officers? Didn't she have ACB under her? Still, in the last four years we have done more work than her government did in 15 years," he said.

Story highlights

'The judgment is against the constitution and democracy. We will seek legal remedies,' Kejriwal said, adding it was an 'injustice to the people' of Delhi.