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Supreme Court to hear the case related to legal control of Delhi bureaucrats on March 3

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday agreed to hear the matter related to the legal tussle going on between the Delhi government led by AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, requested for an early hearing on the issue of control over officers in Delhi.

Accepting the request, Chief Justice (CJI) N.V. Ramana said that on March 3, the Supreme Court will hear the legal question of control of bureaucrats. At present, the right of transfer-posting of officers rests with the LG.

Earlier, due to differences of opinion between the Bench hearing the matter, the matter was referred to a larger Bench.

In 2019, a bench of two Judges gave different opinions. The matter was then referred to a three-Judge Bench. Justice Sikri, who heard the matter, said that the transfer and posting of officers of the rank of Joint Secretary and above are subject to the Lieutenant Governor, whereas other officers of Delhi are under the control of Delhi Government.

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On the other hand, Justice Bhushan, who was hearing the case, did not agree that the services of the officers were completely outside the purview of the Delhi government.

In 2018, a five-Judge Constitution Bench of the Apex Court had ruled that the Lieutenant Governor – the Centre’s representative in Delhi – did not have independent decision-making powers and the real power had to be with the elected government barring police, law & order and land.

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