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Controversy Erupts: Central Govt's Ordinance Challenges Supreme Court Ruling on Delhi Admn. Services

In a swift response to the Supreme Court's recent judgement granting legislative and executive power over administrative services in Delhi to the National Capital Territory, excluding public order, police, and land matters, the Central Government has issued an ordinance. This ordinance establishes the 'National Capital Civil Services Authority,' with the Delhi Chief Minister as its head, alongside the Chief Secretary and Home Secretary of the Delhi government. The authority will now be responsible for the transfer and posting of Group 'A' officers and DANICS officers serving in the Delhi government.

The notification accompanying the ordinance explains that the permanent authority is being formed to uphold the intentions and objectives of Article 239AA. Its purpose is to provide recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) on matters related to transfer posting, vigilance, and other relevant areas. The notification emphasizes the far-reaching impact of decisions made in the national capital, not only affecting its residents but also influencing the country's reputation, image, credibility, and global standing.

Notably, the ordinance stipulates that in case of a difference of opinion, the LG's decision will be final. It further states that the central government, in consultation with the authority, will determine the nature and categories of officers and employees required to assist in the authority's functions and provide suitable personnel accordingly.

However, the ordinance has sparked significant controversy soon after its passage. Critics argue that it contradicts the recent Supreme Court judgment, which held that the LG must abide by the decisions of the Delhi government concerning services, excluding public order, police, and land matters.

In the earlier ruling by a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice MR Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli, and Justice PS Narasimha, it was clarified that the LG must adhere to the decisions of the GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) on services, except in the areas mentioned. The judgment explicitly stated that the Lieutenant Governor, acting on behalf of NCTD (National Capital Territory of Delhi), would be bound by the decisions of GNCTD regarding services.

However, the ordinance takes a contrary position, asserting that the Legislative Assembly possesses the power to make laws in accordance with Article 239AA, except in matters explicitly listed in Entry 41 of List II of the Constitution of India's Seventh Schedule, or any connected or incidental matters, regardless of any court judgment, order, or decree.

The passing of this ordinance sets the stage for further legal and constitutional debates regarding the division of powers between the Delhi government and the LG, with implications for the administration of services in the National Capital Territory.


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