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Delhi’s AAP government on Monday knocked on the Supreme Court doors again seeking constitution of a larger bench to decide the long standing issue of who controls the services in Delhi. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it will look into the matter.

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had on February 14 in its verdict on the Aam Aadmi Party versus the Centre case,  was divided on the issue of services– the power to appoint, post and transfer officials in Delhi administration — but agreed on Centre having control over the Anti-Corruption Branch in Delhi.

The services issue has been sent to a larger bench after the two-judge bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan concurred that Centre had absolute power.  There were nine petitions around the power tussle between the centre and the Arvind Kejriwal government nearly three months back. Last month when AAP government’s senior lawyer Indira Jaising pleaded for an early verdict, the judges reassured her that the verdict would be out “very soon”.

AAP’s Delhi government and the centre have been  invonved in a long battle over sharing of power soon after Arvind Kejriwal returned as chief minister in 2015. AAP had won 67 of 70 seats in Delhi assembly, reducing the BJP to only three. Arvind Kejriwal alleges that the BJP-led government at the Centre has since been exacting revenge, withdrawing its powers and blocking decision taken by the AAP government.

–India Legal Bureau

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