Will explore ‘options’ for Centre’s refusal to accept SC ruling: Kejriwal

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said that they are discussing their next step with lawyers and cabinet ministers after Lt. Governor Anil Baijal refused to hand over the Services Department to the city state’s elected government.

Now, Kejriwal has sought time from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to urge him to follow the Supreme Court’s orders.

“The MHA has advised LG to ignore that part of SC order, which restricts LG’s powers to only 3 subjects. Very dangerous that Central government advising LG not to follow SC’s orders. Have sought time from Rajnath Singh to urge him to follow SC’s orders,” he said in a tweet.

In a 25-minute meeting held between Kejriwal and Baijal over who will hold which power in the government, Baijal agreed that the Delhi government can take decisions on all matters relating to the development but refused to let go of the Services Department, which looks over transfers/posting of senior officers, promotions, disciplinary actions and creating new posts.

Reiterating Baijal’s words, Kejriwal said that the Lt Governor refused to hand over the Department to the Delhi government because he has been advised to keep the “services” with him by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

“Even though the Supreme Court’s judgment automatically nullifies the 2015 MHA notification, the LG has refused to comply,” Kejriwal told the reporters here.

“This is a clear contempt of the apex court. This is for the first time in the history of India that the Central government has openly refused to accept a Supreme Court ruling. If it becomes a precedent, there will be anarchy,” he said.

The Supreme Court in its judgment on Tuesday ruled that the executive powers, except for law and order, police and land, were vested in the elected government and the LG was bound to only aid and advise the government in all other matters.

Citing the Services Department as the most crucial element in smooth governance, Kejriwal asserted that “it is easy to derail any work of the government” if the power over Services Department lay with the Central government i.e. the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“How is the government going to function if we do all the development work and the officers handling that work is being appointed by the Central government,” he asked.

While the LG has assured Kejriwal of his “continued support and cooperation in the interest of good governance and overall development of Delhi as per the letter and spirit of Constitution”, Kejriwal has said that this fight will continue.