HC to hear on Aug 5 a PIL against MHA notification on LG’s powers in appointing bureaucrats

New Delhi, May 29 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today said it will hear on August 5 a PIL challenging the Centre’s recent notification giving the Lt Governor absolute powers in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung

A bench of Justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva while listing the matter for August 5, said by then either the Supreme Court would decide it on the Centre’s plea or the single judge would take a decision on the issue which has also been raised by the Delhi government.

The Centre has challenged in the apex court a recent judgement of the high court which said the notification was “suspect” and Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the city government can arrest Delhi Police officials in graft cases.

The Delhi government, in turn, has challenged in the high court the constitutional validity of the May 21 notification of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Today, the division bench of the high court, while hearing the PIL, asked the petitioner law student why he was interfering in the issue when “both the affected parties — the Centre and the state government — are fighting so vehemently”.

The bench also noted that both constitutional authorities are fighting over the issue in the “right way” by going to court.

It also told the petitioner that when two constitutional authorities are fighting over who is right, “let them”.

“They are entitled to fight,” the court said.

During the brief hearing, in which several lawyers of the city government were present, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said there was no meaning in the PIL.

ASG Maninder Singh, who represented MHA, said the order of the Supreme Court, which was hearing the Centre’s appeal for a stay of May 25 high court judgement, has to be seen before any decision was taken.

Delhi government counsel, senior advocate H S Phoolka and advocates Raman Duggal and Rahul Mehra, who were present in court, also said the apex court order has to be seen.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, which was hearing the Centre’s plea to stay the high court order, today issued notice to the Delhi government and said, “We are not inclined to go into the issue of stay at this stage and after getting the reply (of the Delhi government), we will look into it”.