AAP vs Centre Row: SC Rules L-G bound by Delhi’s elected govt but says both parties must work together

Team SoOLEGAL 5 Jul 2018 11:00am

AAP vs Centre Row: SC Rules L-G bound by Delhi’s elected govt but says both parties must work together

The Delhi power tussle moved a step closer to resolution on Wednesday with the top court ruling that leaving aside issues relating to land, police, and law and order, the Delhi’s elected government would have supremacy over the Lieutenant Governor (L-G).

The constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJI Dipak Misra, in its ruling said that the L-G is bound by the “aid and advice” of the Delhi government. But, the bench also added that “Delhi cannot be accorded complete statehood under the current Constitutional scheme”.

Both the Aam Aadmi Party and the Centre elucidated the judgement differently. While the former saw the SC ruling as a victory; the latter said it only reiterates the role of L-G.

The SC bench, including Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan besides the CJI, gave its judgment on the reference made to it by a two-judge bench to define the position of L-G under the Constitution.

A two-judge bench comprising justices AK Sikri and RK Agrawal had on February 15 last year requested the CJI to constitute a larger bench while hearing an appeal filed by the AAP government challenging Delhi HC’s August 4, 2016 verdict. The HC verdict had declared L-G as the administrative head of Delhi. Further, the HC had quashed some decisions taken by the AAP government without the L-G’s concurrence. And, Wednesday’s SC verdict has partially set aside the High Court view with reference to L-G’s administrative power.

Key Points from SC’s Verdict:

  1. L-G can’t act independently and cannot behave as an obstructionist to policy decisions taken by the Delhi government.
  2. L-G could have a difference of opinion on the decisions taken by the Council of Ministers of Delhi, and he can refer the matter to the President but only under exceptional circumstances.
  3. The L-G must be informed of all decisions of the Council of Ministers, but this does not mean that L-G’s approval is required in every decision.
  4. The L-G and the Delhi government must perform their duties in accordance with the constitutional ideals and must avoid “absolutism” and “anarchy”.
  5. Both the L-G and the CM are constitutional functionaries and must work together harmoniously with mutual respect and none should feel superior over the other.

Tagged: Delhi   Supreme Court   Aam Aadmi Party   Delhi Government   Lieutenant Governor   Delhi HC  
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