The Arvind Kejriwal administration fired Ashish More, the secretary of the Delhi government’s Services department, on Thursday evening. This came after the Supreme Court issued a historic decision on the control and posting of bureaucrats in its favor. Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister, had previously warned of a significant administrative reorganization, thus the transfer appeared to be the first of many.
Mr. Kejriwal stated at a press conference shortly after the verdict that authorities who “obstruct” public works will face consequences. “Vigilance will now be on our side. Officers who do not perform their duties correctly may face disciplinary action, according to the Chief Minister.
Mr Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party tweeted, “The elected government will have the power of transfer-posting of officers. Officers will work only through the elected government”.
Mr. Kejriwal has regularly lamented over the years that he was unable to transfer officers or even hire “peons.” He had claimed that because the Home Ministry was their supreme authority, bureaucrats in his government did not follow commands.
The Delhi government has legislative and executive authority over the provision of services, according to the Supreme Court, which also stated earlier on Thursday that only “Public Order, Police, and Land” are outside of its purview.
According to the court headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, the elected branch of government must hold the authority of administration in a democratic system of government. The triple chain of accountability idea will be unnecessary if a democratically elected government is not given the authority to supervise the personnel. The judges also said that the concept of joint responsibility would be compromised if the officers stopped reporting to the ministers or disobeyed their orders.
In 2015, a year after the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi won a resounding victory, a central order placed the Services department under the supervision of the Lieutenant Governor, the Centre’s representation in Delhi.
The court ruled on Thursday that the Lieutenant Governor must follow the elected government’s choice about services and should work with the assistance and counsel of the council of ministers.
The judges said, “The power of the Central government is limited to ensure that the governance is not taken over by the Central government in matters in which both the Centre and states can legislate.”
The BJP claimed that while they respected the court’s decision, they were worried that it might give rise to a “transfer-posting industry.”
“Kejriwal has obtained what he was desperately looking for. He said there will be large-scale transfers of officers in his government, which means that a transfer-posting industry will come up in Delhi,” Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva was quoted as saying by news agency. Officers in the Delhi government will now be given postings based not on their capabilities but on how obedient they are to the chief minister, the BJP leader claimed.