A war of words broke out between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal on Monday, with the Aam Aadmi Party leader accusing the L-G of “selective” acceptance of last week’s Supreme Court judgment on the powers of the elected government vis-a-vis Raj Niwas.

Mr. Baijal hit back, saying the Chief Minister’s charge of selective implementation was “erroneous”.

The Supreme Court had ruled that the L-G was bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers and that his concurrence was not required on matters other than of land, police and public order.

Point of contention

While the L-G has agreed that his concurrence is not needed, the issue of who controls services has remained a point of contention between the AAP government and Raj Niwas.

A May 21, 2015 notification making the L-G the approving authority for transfers of IAS and DANICS officers still stands, Raj Niwas has said.

In a letter to the L-G on Monday, Mr. Kejriwal wrote, “You have said that since the matters will now be placed before regular Bench, you would wait for the orders of that regular Bench. But how can you be selective in accepting the judgment?”

He urged the L-G to implement the judgment in letter and spirit and to approach the Supreme Court to seek a clarification if need be.

Shared with media

In response, Raj Niwas said Mr. Baijal had written to the Chief Minister, noting that Mr. Kejriwal’s letter had been shared on social media and with the electronic media before it reached the L-G.

“Hon’ble LG has observed that Hon’ble Chief Minister has erroneously mentioned about selective implementation of the judgment dated 04.07.2018 of Hon’ble Supreme Court. Hon’ble LG has noted that in fact, Hon’ble Chief Minister has quoted selectively from his letter dated 06.07.2018 [sic],” the Raj Niwas statement said.

Further clarity

The statement added that the L-G’s letter to the Chief Minister on July 6 read, “While the entire judgement and its implications are still being studied, it may kindly be noted that in the concluding paras, Hon’ble Court while answering the reference has directed to place the matters before the appropriate regular Bench. Therefore, further clarity will be achieved when the appeals pending before the Ld. Regular Bench are finally disposed off [sic].”

While the entire judgement and its implications are still being studied, it may kindly be noted that in the concluding paras, Hon’ble Court while answering the reference has directed to place the matters before the appropriate regular Bench [sic]

Raj Niwas statement

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