Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today said the High Court’s ruling that he is the “administrative head” of Delhi was neither a victory for him nor a defeat for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, noting its crux is to govern the city as per the provisions in the Constitution.
Jung, addressing a rare press conference, said a number of decisions including Delhi Government’s directions to power regulator DERC, appointment of government representatives to BSES board and certain orders relating to tax will have to be “corrected” as they did not have his concurrence.
The Lt Governor, who had a long running battle with the AAP government on a host of jurisdictional issues, said he always wanted to protect the provisions of the Constitution and did not agree to AAP government’s decisions when he found they were at variance with the laid down norms.
“It is not a victory of anyone. It is not a win for Najeeb Jung and loss for Arvind Kejriwal. The court order is a kind of clarification that incorrect things will have to be corrected,” he said.
The LG, who has been targeted by the Kejriwal Government over his decisions, said, “My DNA is such that I don’t get affected by abusive language.”
Jung said the verdict clarified that matters related to services will have to be handled by the LG and that the Centre’s concurrence was not necessary on certain issues and he can take calls on them.
In a huge setback for the Kejriwal Government, the High Court held that the LG is the administrative head of the National Capital Territory and the AAP Government’s contention that he is bound to act on the advice of Council of Ministers was “without substance”.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath dismissed AAP Government’s plea challenging the Centre’s May 21, 2015, notification giving absolute powers to LG in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital.
The court also quashed several notifications issued by Kejriwal after returning to power last year, saying they were illegal as they were issued without concurrence of LG.
The bench, in its 194-page judgement, said the AAP Government’s contention that the LG is bound to act on the aid and advice of Council of Ministers cannot be accepted.