NEW DELHI : Settling the contentious issue of battle of control over services between Centre and Delhi government, the Supreme Court on Thursday in a unanimous landmark verdict ruled that the Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over all services including the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), except those pertaining to land, police and law and order. The judgement came as a major win for Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Admi Pary government.
The five-judge constitution bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha said ” The legislative power of NCT Delhi under Entry 41 would extend to IAS and it shall control them even if they are not recruited by the NCT Delhi. However, it would not extend to the services which comes under land, law and order and police. Lieutenant Governor (LG) shall be bound by the decision of NCT Delhi over services apart from land, police and law and order.”
The judgment stated that while a state or union territory has the power to make laws on subjects under the Concurrent List, the same will be subject to the existing Central law. At the same time, it has to be ensured that the governance of states is not taken over by the Central government, the Bench opined.
The primacy of the Centre in administrative issues would abrogate the federal system and the principle of representative democracy it said, adding if ‘services’ are excluded from the legislative and executive domain, then ministers would be excluded from controlling civil servants. Democracy and federalism are part of the basic structure of the Constitution, the CJI said while reading out the judgement in a packed courtroom.