May 28, 2023

Centre’s Ordinance an Affront on the Supreme Court, Constitution and the People of Delhi

The following is the statement issued by the CPI(M) Delhi state committee on May 20

WITHOUT even waiting for the ink to dry on the unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court constitution bench that the government of NCT of Delhi has legislative and executive power over administrative services in the national capital, the power hungry RSS-BJP central government has brought in an ordinance to supercede the verdict by giving overriding powers to LG, to oversee the transfer, posting and disciplinary proceedings against civil servants.

NCCSA will make “recommendations” to the LG regarding “transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters.” The ordinance also says all matters required to be decided by the body shall be decided by “majority of votes of the members present and voting.” In effect, the decision of the elected CM can be overruled by the two senior bureaucrats. Furthermore, in case the LG differs with the recommendation made, they would be empowered to “return the recommendation to the Authority for reconsideration” and, in case of continuing difference of opinion, “the decision of the LG shall be final.” This effective reversal of the SC verdict is a blot on federal values of the constitution and a warning to the people of Delhi that no matter whether the BJP continues to receive electoral drubbing at their hands, they would still rule through the back door.

The ordinance pulls the debate of ‘statehood / autonomy’ to Delhi decades back, as it is administered by multiple authorities not accountable to them. This is not a good scenario for a city with more than two crore people and is in progress to become the most populous city in the world. The Pattabhi Sitaramayya committee way back in 1947, recommended that ‘it should not be deprived of the right of self-government’ and the centre should take ‘special responsibilities for good governance and financial solvency’. The people of Delhi will see through political double speak of the RSS-BJP which was demanding full state hood until 2013 and back tracked since assuming power at the centre.