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Delhi assembly special session over Centre's notification on powers
Saturday May 23, 2015 10:53 PM, IANS

Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi:
The Delhi government has announced a special two-day session of the legislative assembly starting May 26 to discuss the response to the union home ministry notification that curbs its various powers.

The government will arrive at a decision on whether to challenge the notification in court after discussions in the assembly. The government is also going to pass a resolution against the decree.

"Whether the matter is challenged in court or not is something we will decide after the special session," a Delhi government official, who did not want to be named, told IANS.

In a notification issued on Thursday, the central government made it clear that Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung will have the last word in deciding transfers and postings of bureaucrats in Delhi.

The notification has brought things to a head with the Centre and the Arvind Kejriwal government being in direct confrontation.

Several senior counsel like Gopal Subramanium and K.K. Venugopal backed the Aam Aadmi Party government and called the Centre's notification "illegal, unconstitutional and void".

They also told the AAP government that the notification can be challenged in court.

Chief Minister Kejriwal had sought legal advice of these counsel.

"It singularly lacks propriety when the president (Pranab Mukherjee) is still seized with the question," Subramanium wrote in his advisory.

"It is illegal and unconstitutional; and presumably, it has been issued without the requisite presidential approval," he added.

The nine-page opinion addressed to the chief minister was sent on Friday.

According to Venugopal, the foundation of the notification was "flawed and void".

"Their legal opinions were placed before the cabinet and discussed in the cabinet meeting," said a Delhi government official.

"The cabinet also decided that depending on the requirement, the session can be extended further," the official added.

Both the Lt. Governor and the chief minister had approached the president over the issue.

However, the legal community remained divided over the issue with divergent views on the matter.

While some supported the Centre's move on grounds of Delhi being a union territory and the national capital, others supported the Delhi government and slammed the notification.

Kejriwal also announced a jan sabha (public meeting) to be held on Monday at Central Park in Connaught Place to mark the completion of 100 days of his government in Delhi.

He is expected to bring his side of the story on the ongoing tug-of-war with the Centre to the people of Delhi.

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