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The Supreme Court ordered both of them to convene and vote unanimously on the next chairman of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC).
On Friday, Delhi LG VK Saxena and CM Arvind Kejriwal inspected a broken drain regulator at Vikas Marg, ITO, in New Delhi. (PTI)
The Supreme Court said on Monday that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena must rise over political fighting and focus on getting down to the important task of governance in the national capital, as it ordered both of them to sit collectively and decide unanimously on the next Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chief. The case will be heard in court again on Thursday.
The Supreme Court announced last week that it would hear the Delhi government’s suit challenging the nomination of the DERC chairperson, as well as the state’s appeal to the Centre’s services act, on Monday.
The case will be heard on July 17 by a panel chaired by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, who authorised the Delhi government not to proceed on July 4 by administering the oath of office to Justice (retd) Umesh Kumar, the newly appointed chief of DERC. Justices PS Narasimha and Manoj Misra also were on the bench.
Petition filed by the Arvind Kejriwal’s government in response to the Centre’s directive
The petition filed by the Delhi government to challenge the Centre’s June 21 order appointing a former Allahabad high court judge as DERC chairperson also seeks to challenge the ordinance that gives the Centre the power to take over appointments to commissions and bodies under the Delhi government under Section 45D of the recently implemented Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Ordinance), 2023].
Following the Fourth of July, the Supreme Court heard a major case brought by the Delhi government on July 10 contesting the entire law. On Monday, the court agreed to hear interim orders for a suspension of the ordinance. It gave the Centre and the L-G two weeks to file an exhaustive reply defending the ordinance’s validity after the Delhi government claimed that the ordinance violated the top court’s May 11 ruling, which stated that services under the State List will remain with the Delhi government.
Senior attorney Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government in the DERC case, told the court last week that the Centre had yet to file its response. The court ordered the Centre to file its answer by the next scheduled date.
In addition, the court is hearing a second petition challenging the entire ordinance, following which it will issue a notice and submit the case to the Constitutional Court. The Supreme Court will hear the case again on Thursday.
Despite the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) support for the ordinance, the Centre is unlikely to face any difficulties pushing it through Rajya Sabha, where it lacks a majority.
The Centre and the Lieutenant Governor file an affidavit at the SC
The Centre filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Monday to support the Ordinance on Delhi services, claiming that it complies with the constitutional system.
In its argument, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said that the Centre’s law constituted a ‘unconstitutional exercise of executive fiat’ that attempted to overturn the order delivered by the highest and constitutionally interim court. On May 11, the Supreme Court handed over authority of all services in Delhi to the elected government, with the exception of land, public order, and law enforcement.
As a result, the AAP administration won by a landslide. The AAP government has targeted vigilance officers: the Centre and Delhi LG VK Saxena files affidavits in the Supreme Court. Ministers launched a witch hunt, harassed officials, held media trials, and threatened officers’ decision-making.