The Centre told the Supreme Court on Tuesday a fiction is being created by way of a public perception that the Delhi government has absolutely no control over the officers and employees working in the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi.
In his written submissions, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said the entire argument of the AAP government about lack of power proceeds as if the Central Government is interfering in the legislative and administrative field of a full-fledged “State”, violating the federal structure.
“In the case of NCT of Delhi, the functional control vests in the elected wing and all officers/employees are required to function under the administrative control and supervision of the elected wing and implementing the programmes and policies of the elected wing which would reflect the wish and the will of the electorate, while the administrative control is vested both constitutionally and other in the President who exercises the same through the Lt. Governor.
“So far as the control is concerned, almost a fiction is created by way of a public perception that they have absolutely no control over the officers and employees working in GNCTD.This is fictional perception and far from truth,” Mehta said in his submissions.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud is hearing submissions on the Centre-Delhi government row over control of services.
Explaining the position of Delhi, Mehta said all All India Service officers, DANICS officers and all other officers working for GNCTD are under the functional control of the Ministers concerned, the Chief Minister of GNCTD and the Council of Ministers.
“Secondly, for any officer, the most important element of his service is career progression in terms of promotion which is based upon the Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR).
“So far as the all senior and middle level officers are concerned (who are under the functional control of the elected Government and through whom the will and wish of the electorate in terms of the programmes and policies of the Government are to be implemented), their APAR are under direct control of the Chief Minister of Delhi either as reporting authority, reviewing authority or accepting authority,” it said.
The functional control for undertaking the government business lies with the minister concerned and for this purpose IAS officers and all other officers report to the minister, Mehta said.
The Centre had earlier told the top court the Constitution never contemplated a separate service cadre for Union Territories (UT), which are a mere extension of Union of India, and persons working in the UTs are working in “services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union”.
Contending that the functioning of the government in the capital affects the nation as a whole, the Centre had submitted that between 2017 and till date there were only four questions or issues where a difference of opinion arose between the elected Government and the Lieutenant Governor (LG) which were referred to the President of India under Article 239AA(4).
In its 2018 judgement, a five-judge Constitution bench had unanimously held that the LG of Delhi is bound by the aid and advice of the elected government, and both needed to work harmoniously with each other.
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