Administration of country’s capital can’t be left to Delhi govt alone, Centre tells SC

Team SoOLEGAL 20 Sep 2018 11:00am

Administration of country’s capital can’t be left to Delhi govt alone, Centre tells SC

During a hearing on Wednesday, Centre told the Supreme Court that administration of Delhi cannot be left to the Delhi government alone emphasising that it has an “extraordinary” position by the virtue of being the national capital of the country.

The counsel appearing for the Centre told a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan that a five-judge constitution bench of the top court had unanimously held that Delhi cannot be accorded the status of a state.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra had on July 4 laid down the broad parameters for governance of the national capital, which has witnessed a bitter power struggle between the Centre and the Delhi government since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power in 2014.

During the hearing, the Centre’s counsel said one of the basic issues was that whether the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) has the legislative and executive powers so far as “services” were concerned.

The constitution bench has categorically said that union territory and a state cannot be equated. Article 239AA (which deals with the powers and status of Delhi) has been carved out as independent machinery. The court has said that GNCTD has the powers besides three issues (public order, police and land),” the Centre's counsel said.

Delhi has an extraordinary position as it is the capital of the country,” the counsel told the bench.

He said being the country’s capital, Delhi houses several important institutions like Parliament, the Apex Court, and foreign diplomats also reside here.

So it’s (Delhi) administration cannot be left to a state or a union territory,” the Centre’s counsel, said during the arguments which would continue on September 25.

The counsel appearing for the Delhi government told the bench that they have executive power to constitute a commission of inquiry.

We are not arguing that you (court) hold Delhi as a state under the Constitution. We have to see the purpose of the Commission of Inquiry Act. We are not arguing something which is outlandish. The power exists undeniably to constitute a commission of inquiry,” the Delhi government’s counsel told the bench.

Case background:

The AAP government had on July 18 told the Supreme Court that its functioning was “completely paralysed” and it is unable to order transfer or posting of officers in spite of the constitution bench verdict on the national capital’s administration.

The five-judge constitution bench, in its verdict, had clarified that issues regarding various notifications issued by the city government in the exercise of its administrative and legislative powers would be dealt with separately by an appropriate smaller bench.

The bench had held that Delhi cannot be accorded the status of a state, but clipped the powers of the Lieutenant Governor (LG), saying he has no “independent decision making power” and has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government.

Tagged: Delhi Government   AAP   Arvind Kejriwal   Delhi   Delhi Administration   Delhi Power Tussle   Lieutenant Governor   Supreme Court  
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