By Sushil Kutty
It is so blatantly brazen you can stick it to the wall and it will hang firm. Is it a violation of the law? It definitely is a ‘middle finger’ to the Supreme Court. The top court has been told “thus far, no further”. And it has left Delhi’s AAP government up the creek minus a paddle. More importantly, the ordinance is proof of the Centre’s nefarious motive. The ordinance lays bare the moral and ethical bankruptcy of the Modi regime.
In layman language, it is the equivalent of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s bulldozer! It’s also the defeated opponent’s last resort – the refuge of scoundrels. The Supreme Court ruled that the elected government was ‘King’ and the Centre said that makes the Modi government ‘King Cobra’.
The ordinance “nullifies” the apex court’s landmark decision. Now, the Kejriwal government is back to ‘Square One’ in this ’Game of Thrones. What can AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Atishi Marlena do other than guard the lumps in their throats. The celebration was cut short by ‘insidious’ and ‘pernicious’. Also by an obsessive gluttony for power. The Supreme Court had clarity – the AAP government held the reins of “Services”, not the Lt. Governor of Delhi. Period.
For the Centre the Supreme Court decision was torture. The Lt. Governor answers to the Union Home Ministry and carries out its diktats. Come to think, it wasn’t yesterday that the Centre had ridden roughshod over court decisions. It is also not the first time that an ordinance has been promulgated in defiance of a judicial order.
Question: Why does the Centre want to hold on to “Services”? Therein lies the rub, and the nub. “Services” is basically related to making appointments and transfers. And both the Delhi government and the Modi government covet and value the power to appoint and transfer. The tribe of ‘Yes Men’ is essential insurance for governments.
Pity that there’s no ‘Solomon the Wise’ around, unless the Supreme Court is the essence and spirit of ‘Solomon the Wise’. Fact of the matter is, the Centre had no choice. But the office of the Delhi Lt. Governor is without shame and it does not have a single ethical or moral bone.
The Delhi Lt. Governor is the Centre’s handmaiden – the Modi government‘s authoritarian figurehead who sits in judgment of all actions of the Delhi government. The Supreme Court’s order to hand over “Services” to the Delhi government left the Modi government hopping on a hot tin roof at ‘high noon’!
Kejriwal is no saint, but even he should be given the teeth to take on the dictator. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 created the National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA) with the “elected Chief Minister of Delhi” also on board.
The NCCSA has the power to make “recommendations” to the Lt. Governor on “transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters.” Now, the BJP IT Cell is calling the ordinance a “masterstroke”. The “masterstrokewadis” of the BJP IT Cell are based in Kanpur. They set the narrative. The ordinance makes it clear that the Delhi Chief Minister can be overruled by the two senior bureaucrats on the panel. And if the Lt. Governor doesn’t agree, the recommendation can be returned to the “authority” for reconsideration”.
If the differences persist, “the decision of the Lieutenant Governor shall be final.” That in one sentence reversed the SC verdict. The Supreme Court’s ruling that the Delhi government is “final authority” is floating in the polluted Yamuna. Is the ordinance contempt of court? The fact is, the Modi government has scant respect for the rule of law. Nobody knows where the foursome of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and JP Nadda is taking the country to.
When political parties and politicians lose respect for the top court, there remains very little to celebrate and to be proud of. How can a government be put behind bars? That is right even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is savouring adulation in Japan, his government is acting with contempt for the country’s institutions. Modi has little regard for decisions of the top court – a constitution bench to boot. The top court directive, which gave the elected government the power to take decisions independent of the central government, has been breached with impunity.
The BJP government’s ordinance seeks to grab power. It is a coup of sorts, devious and deceptive! The electorate has to decide their side of the aisle. The Modi government was not elected to fight the Supreme Court and spar with Arvind Kejriwal. This ordinance is a blot on the independence of the judiciary. (IPA Service)