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Delhi versus Centre: Government issues ordinance, move seen as attempt to overturn SC verdict

The Centre has issued an ordinance outlining the rules for the transfer, posting, vigilance, and other related matters in the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD).

This is being seen as an attempt by the Centre to effectively take control of the services department of the Delhi government. This comes just days after the Supreme Court handed control of services to the Delhi government. It may be noted here that the Supreme Court ruled in early May that the Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over services except for public order, police and land.

Now, as per the Centre’s ordinance, the ‘National Capital Civil Services Authority‘ will be established, consisting of the Delhi Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, and Home Secretary of the Delhi Government. This authority will now have the power to make decisions regarding the transfer and posting of Group ‘A’ officers and DANICS officers serving in the Delhi Government.

“All matters required to be decided by the authority shall be decided by majority of votes of the members present and voting. All recommendations of the authority shall be authenticated by the member secretary,” it said.

The National Capital Civil Service Authority shall meet at such time and place as the member secretary may decide with approval of the chairperson of the authority, as and when required, the ordinance said.

“The central government, in consultation with the authority, shall determine the nature and the categories of officers and other employees required to assist the authority in the discharge of its functions and provide the authority with such officers and employees, as it may deem fit….”

“Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, the National Capital Civil Service Authority shall have the responsibility to recommend the transfers and postings of all the Group ‘A’ officers and officers of DANICS serving in the affairs of the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi but not officers serving in connection with any subject matter,” it read.According to the order in case of any disagreement, the Lieutenant Governor’s decision shall be considered final.

“Provided also that in case of difference of opinion, the decision of the Lieutenant Governor shall be final,” the order reads.

A Supreme Court order on May 11 put the control of bureaucrats working with the Delhi government, excluding those related to police, public order and land, under the elected government.

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