SC to decide if LG is administrative boss of Delhi

05 November, 2017, 02:05 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • The Delhi government said in court the L-G had created a situation where no bureaucrat was obeying directions of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers

The bench noted that Constitution has limited Delhi government's powers and it can not have a say on public order, police and land. The government said it would not act against such persons until the Supreme Court finally disposes off the matter.

Senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium led the arguments for the Delhi Government and said that the governor has been deemed with limited power and that it should be given more power.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud while disposing of their individual petitions asked them to file applications in the pending petitions which would be handled by the constitution bench later.

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The HC also held that the then L-G Najeeb Jung was its administrative head and all decisions will have to be taken with his consent and concurrence. Provision (4) in the Article 239AA can not be exploited by the LG to frustrate the constitutional mandate suggested the SC adding that President should be consulted immediately in cases of difference of opinion. The higher the degree of power, the higher the degree of trust, he argued before the Constitution bench. The Delhi government could not claim absolute executive powers and it should exercise its executive functions within the field of its legislative powers, excluding land, police and law and order.

He sought a balance between the powers of the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) and the state government, arguing that even if the L-G had greater powers under the Constitution, they should be exercised only in exceptional circumstances.

Delhi was given an assembly and an elected government through Article 239 (AA) incorporated in the Constitution by the 69th amendment in 1991. The existence of the LG in administrative issues was "mandatory" mentioned the apex court and the AAP government will have to adopt in the framework.


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