The last word on the saga of the Delhi government vs the Centre is yet to be spoken. But the issuing of ordinances, past and present, smacks of blatant misuse by an autocratic Central government that skirts debate and is intolerant of alternative viewpoints.
On May 19, the Union government promulgated an ordinance nullifying the Supreme Court’s May 11 verdict that handed over authority over civil servants in the national capital to the Delhi government. The Supreme Court judgement had also held that the lieutenant governor was to act on the “aid and advice” of the council of ministers in the Delhi government.
The National Capital Civil Service Authority, created by the ordinance, will be headed by the Delhi chief minister to handle the service conditions, transfer and posting of bureaucrats.
Perhaps, sensing that The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, may attract criticism, the Central government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a review of the ruling.
The dispute between the Delhi government and Central government-appointed lieutenant governor over who controls the bureaucracy in the national capital has been festering since a 2015 notification that handed this power to the lieutenant governor.
In 1991, the National Capital Territory of Delhi was…