New Delhi: Calling the Supreme Court’s verdict on the powers of the Delhi government to transfer officers “unfortunate” and “injustice to the people of Delhi”, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the order is against the Constitution and democracy.
Speaking to the media after the judgement, Kejriwal said the judgement says the elected government will not have the power to transfer officers.
“A question which arises is that if a government can’t even transfer officers, how will it function,” he asked.
Talking about the judgement, he said it is “very unfortunate and is an injustice to the people of Delhi”.
“We respect the apex court, but the judgement is an injustice to the people who elected a government by giving 67 of the 70 seats (to a party),” he said.
He further said the party with 67 seats will not have the power to transfer officers, “but the party with three seats has the power to transfer officers”.
In 2015 Delhi Assembly polls, the AAP won 67 of the 70 seats, while the BJP bagged only three.
Calling himself powerless, despite the major victory, he said the opposition party will appoint officers who will not work and not let them work.
“We are suffering from past four years.”
“The ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau) was under the Delhi government for 40 years, now it is not under it. What will I do if someone comes and tells me that there is some corruption? Do I have to approach the opposition party, the BJP, (and ask them) to take action (against the corrupt officer)? The opposition party is the one doing all the ‘gadbad’,” he said.
The AAP chief said, according to the judgement, the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be tampered. “But democracy is the biggest structure and if an elected government has no power, how will it function? What kind of democracy is this? The judgement is against the Constitution and democracy.”
He also said that if for every file, “we have to protest at the LG’s office for clearance, how will the government function?”
He said the real solution lies with the people.
“Statehood for Delhi will solve all these issues. In the coming Lok Sabha elections, don’t vote for electing a PM. Give all the seven seats to AAP, so that in the coming five years, we will force the government to give statehood to Delhi,” he said.
On former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit welcoming the court’s verdict, Kejriwal said: “I respect Dikshit a lot. I want to request her that at times, the issue is big, the nation is bigger and for short term politics, such comments are not good.”
He further said his government doesn’t have even 10 per cent of the powers she had.
“She had all the powers. She also got the benefit of having Congress at the Centre, but despite that we did more work in four years than she did in 15 years.
“I want to request you, today it is my government. Tomorrow it may be your government. You will also need these powers. Talk for Delhi, its people and its government,” the Chief Minister said.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday delivered a split verdict on the issue of transfer and posting of Delhi government officers.
While Justice A.K. Sikri said transfers and postings of joint secretaries and officers above will be in the domain of Lieutenant Governor, for those below them, the recommendation will be routed through the Council of Ministers of the elected government in Delhi.
However, Justice Ashok Bhushan differed saying that the Delhi government has no control over appointments. Transfer and appointment of “higher” officers will rest with the Centre, he added.