In a landmark victory, the Delhi Government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal, has secured control over the crucial department of ‘Services.’ This triumph in the long-standing legal battle against the central government sets the stage for a groundbreaking era of administration that aims to be unparalleled in efficiency and effectiveness. CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal, renowned for his transformative work in the fields of Health and Education, has pledged to develop an exemplary model of administration that will revolutionise governance in Delhi. Speaking at a press conference, the Chief Minister expressed his commitment to bringing about an administrative reshuffle, ensuring that obstructive officers are removed while qualified and honest individuals are given the opportunity to contribute to public welfare.
The CM further declared that for the past eight years, the government has fearlessly fought this legal battle, and today, the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking verdict stands as a resounding victory for the entire state of Delhi. This triumph not only establishes the government’s authority but also empowers them to hold corrupt officers accountable, thanks to gaining control over the Vigilance Department. Furthermore, the Chief Minister emphasised the need for a reformed administrative system that is transparent, accountable, and responsive to the public. Officers and employees will be held responsible for their actions and will be expected to deliver efficient and effective services to the citizens.
Under the new administration, unnecessary posts will be eliminated or vacated, while new positions will be created to meet the evolving needs of the city, he stated, highlighting the government’s commitment to optimising resources and ensuring maximum productivity. Acknowledging the unwavering support of the public throughout the arduous struggle, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal expressed confidence that the government would now be able to accelerate its work, ensuring that the development and welfare of Delhi are achieved tenfold.
Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court order that stated that the state government will control administrative services on all aspects except land, public order and police. He further said that the order of the Supreme Court that came out today is historic for several reasons. Calling it a major victory for the people of Delhi, he said that the Central Government until now had done injustice to the residents of Delhi and today the Supreme Court brought an end to it.
He said that the first full majority AAP government in Delhi was formed on 14th February 2015, and just three months later on 23rd May that year, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi issued an order through the Central Government claiming that the ‘Services Department’ of the Delhi Government would no longer remain with the Chief Minister, but with the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
Explaining the consequences of this order, he said that all the government employees of the Delhi Government were made to report to the LG. “From top to the bottom, all officers, whether it is an IAS officer or a Class 4 employee – a peon – were under the Central Government. So, this meant that the posting, transfer, disciplinary proceedings, creation and abolition of posts, all these powers were taken away from the Delhi Government. So, this means that if I am the Chief Minister and I see a government officer take a bribe with my own eyes, I did not have the authority to suspend or transfer him,” he said.
He further explained that the state government did not have the power to appoint the education secretary or the health secretary. Shri Arvind Kejriwal claimed that for 8 long years, the Prime Minister misused this order to obstruct the developmental works of Delhi. “When we wanted to improve the condition of schools in Delhi, the Central Government would appoint such an education secretary who would not implement our vision. If we wanted to build a Mohalla Clinics, we would intentionally get such a health secretary who would not do any work. The Central Government would appoint a finance secretary that would unnecessarily cause obstructions. This tactic was used to obstruct all developmental works of Delhi,” he said.
He used an anecdote to explain the situation the Delhi Government was in and said that it felt like his hands were tied and he was thrown into the river and asked to swim out of it. “It is by God’s grace that despite both hands being tied we somehow kept managing to swim. Despite all these artificial problems created by the Centre, our government went on to do such incredible work in Delhi over the last 8 years. So, you can only imagine how much work would we have done if we were given all the powers that the constitution entrusts us with,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal thanked the Chief Justice of India Shri DY Chandrachud and the four other judges on the bench for this historic judgement that was delivered earlier today. Shri Arvind Kejriwal also congratulated the residents of Delhi and thanked them as well. “This was a long fight and in this long and arduous fight, the people of Delhi always stood beside me. Without the support of the people of Delhi, I would not have been able to do anything. This victory today is because of the result of the support and the love that the people of Delhi have given me in all these years. Over the years, at each step, the people of Delhi stood with me,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that after today’s court order, all the developmental works in Delhi will now happen “ten times faster”. He elaborated that the desire of his government is to give the people of Delhi a good model of governance that is responsive to the people. He also emphasised that the governance system needs to be compassionate towards the people of Delhi. “So over the next couple of days you will see an overhaul of the system. Several officers and peons will be transferred to different posts based on the nature of their work in the past,” he said.
The Delhi CM elaborated that there are several such government officers who over the last 1-1.5 years were only involved in obstructing the works of the people of Delhi. He said that there are some officers who even went on to stop the supply of medicines in the Mohalla Clinics of Delhi. “Some officers even went as far as stopping the payment of Delhi Jal Board to stop the supply of water to the people. Such officers will be identified and these people will be made to face the consequences of their actions. But there were also such officers who until now were involved in good works but were facing a lot of pressure from the top. These people will be given the opportunity to work hard now,” he said.
Shri Arvind Kejriwal also said that the entire governance system will be overhauled, and such a system would be created that would be responsive to the public. He added that all forms of shortcomings will be dealt with. He went on to emphasise that a government that is “lean, thin, responsive, compassionate and accountable” would be formed.
He added that the manner in which the Delhi Government in the past gave the country a good model of education and healthcare, similarly it will now give a model of governance and administration. “Currently there are several posts in the government that are of not much use. Officers holding such positions often end up causing obstruction in the works of the people. Such posts from now on would either be left empty or they would be abolished. Similarly in departments where the number of vacancies need to be increased, these will be added,” he said.
The Delhi CM further stated that in Delhi an efficient model of education and healthcare has been developed, and in Punjab, the AAP government has developed an efficient model of law and order. After this court order today, he said, Delhi will also get an efficient model of administration.
Replying to the questions of the media, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the ACB is not yet under the elected government, but now vigilance has come to it. Vigilance-department action can be taken against those who do corruption or wrongdoing, or do not work according to the law. He further said that he will go and take blessings from LG and seek to work together for the people of Delhi. “As per rules, LG has seven days to clear a file. I would request that he starts clearing the files in seven days from now onwards,” he added. The CM further remarked that the government had a responsibility earlier also, but it was without power. Now in addition to this responsibility, we have powers to live up to it, he explained, and said, “Earlier we did not have the power to fulfil our responsibilities, now the Supreme Court has given us that power. Right now every department is being strangled through officers, now this practice will stop. We will be able to implement all the plans that we approve in the Vidhan Sabha without hindrance.”
Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal expressed his dissatisfaction with the recent appointment of the Aldermen, deeming it entirely inappropriate. Furthermore, he revealed that the file pertaining to the Chairman of the DERC has been pending with the Lieutenant Governor for a staggering four months. These circumstances forced the Delhi Government to resort to the Supreme Court for resolution. However, the CM said that he remains hopeful that such legal battles will become less frequent following the recent decision, allowing for greater autonomy in decision-making.
Addressing the role of the Prime Minister, the CM drew a parallel with that of a father figure. Just as a father is responsible for the welfare of all his children, the Prime Minister should extend equal care and support to all states, including Delhi, he said, adding that irrespective of the political party in power, every state government looks to the Prime Minister for assistance in times of trouble. The CM emphasised that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi also regards the Prime Minister as its own, expecting the necessary cooperation and support.
The CM also highlighted the detrimental consequences of the order passed on May 23, 2015, which stripped the Delhi government of its powers. Consequently, the government had to function without authority for a prolonged period of eight years, resulting in numerous stalled projects and hindered progress. This order, deemed erroneous and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, exposed the central government’s intentions of undermining the Delhi government’s success, as per the CM. He lamented that the repercussions of this decision affected not only Delhi but the entire nation, inflicting harm on the people. He urged all stakeholders to work together for the collective benefit of the citizens, setting aside political differences. The CM extended an appeal to the Prime Minister, urging him to allow the Delhi government to function unimpeded. He expressed regret over the significant time lost due to unnecessary conflicts and encouraged the Prime Minister to win the hearts of the people through impactful governance, ensuring that the Aam Aadmi Party does not emerge victorious in future elections.