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A layman's guide to SC's Delhi verdict

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12.07.2018

The July 4 verdict by a five-judge Supreme Court bench (three sets of judgments running into 532 pages) and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party instantly hailing it as the “people’s” (meaning their government’s) unequivocal victory, was indeed historic, but also much misunderstood. Following the verdict, Mr Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia rushed with an order posting officers, but noticed the bureaucrats weren’t interested in implementing it. The shouts of initiating action against the lieutenant-governor and the officials concerned for contempt of the Supreme Court soon fizzled out.

Recently, a lawyer reportedly confessed on the social media that to avoid being dubbed as stupid, she had started reading the judgment but soon gave up, preferring the abuse to the agony of going through it. She was right. Court verdicts are meant to be read and understood by laymen with reasonable command over the language. I believe that the law by itself is not very complicated. As is now well known, Mr Kejriwal and his ministers are a frustrated lot. They have realised that despite their huge electoral victory and their impressive titles they have little power, collectively or individually, in the administration of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. They accuse Delhi’s successive lieutenant-governors of acting as the sole repositories of administrative power.

To remedy the situation, the ministers and MLAs allegedly manhandled the chief secretary at the CM’s official residence - a criminal case over this is pending. In protest, the civil servants refused to visit the homes of ministers or to carry out any........

© The Asian Age