In a shot in the arm for the AAP government, Delhi High Court on Monday termed as “suspect” the Centre’s recent notification barring Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch (ACB) from acting against its officers in criminal offences and held that the LG cannot act in his discretion.
The High Court noted that Lieutenant Governor of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) is bound to act upon the aid and advice of the council of ministers who are directly elected by the citizens of Delhi and the Centre’s “executive fiat” siding with him is “suspect”. It observed that mandate of the people “must” be respected by the LG of GNCTD if there was no other “constitutional or legal fetter”.
The findings were part of a judgement in which the high court held that the anti-corruption branch of the NCT government has the jurisdiction to arrest policemen. The AAP government in Delhi and the Lt Governor have been involved in a public spat over his powers vis a vis an elected government.
The Centre had on 21 May issued a notification siding with the Lt Governor. The High Court dismissed the bail application of a head constable, who was arrested by the ACB in a corruption case. Buoyed by the High Court judgment over jurisdiction of Delhi government’s anti-graft body, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said the verdict was a “huge embarrassment” for the Modi dispensation and has strengthened his government’s fight against corruption. He was speaking at an event to mark 100 days of his government.