‘Protest, theatrics can’t take place when constitution bench is hearing’, Centre to SC on row over services

The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that protests and theatrics can never take place when a constitution bench is in midst of examining a constitutional question – who, Delhi government or the Centre, controls the services including posting and transfer of bureaucrats.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, pointed at the protest held by AAP MLAs against alleged interference by the lieutenant governor’s (L-G) office in its functioning.

Mehta raised the issue of protest before a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud hearing vexatious Delhi government and central government row over control of services. Mehta said certain things are happening in the capital and termed the protests as “undesirable”.

Mehta submitted before the bench – also comprising M.R Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and P.S. Narasimha — that protests and theatrics can never take place when the constitution bench is hearing the matter.

Mehta said that there is one caveat and he would confine to the legal submissions only. He added, “While I say this, certain events are happening in the national capital while your Lordships are in midst of the matter. Some protests are being held…”, Mehta emphasised that events happening in the capital would be noticed everywhere.

Senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, representing the Delhi government, submitted , “I have much more to say than he has.”

The bench told Singhvi, “This is a question on constitutional interpretation….. Mr Singhvi, we have made it clear”.

Led by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs on Monday marched to the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) office to protest against its alleged interference in the functioning of the government.

The Delhi Assembly was adjourned for the day on Monday amid heated exchanges between the BJP and AAP MLAs over the government’s “inaction” to fight pollution and Lieutenant Governor V.K Saxena’s alleged interference in the functioning of the government.

AAP legislators raised slogans against the L-G in the house over his objections to send Delhi government teachers for a training programme to Finland.

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