The five judge constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.K. Sikri, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan said this while in its preliminary observation said that the entire scheme of the democratic governance of Delhi was tilted in favour of Lt. Governor.
Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in New Delhi (Praveen Khanna/file) Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in New Delhi (Praveen Khanna/file) The Supreme Court Thursday reminded the Arvind Kejriwal government that there were limitations to its powers under the Constitution, but added that in matters where the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) had differences with it, he could not sit on files.
The Delhi Government does have a point, however, when it says that for day-to-day governance issues it is the elected executive which is responsible and will be held accountable by the people.
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 has a unique position under the Indian Constitution, with its own state assembly and an administrator in the form of an L-G.
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He said the challenge is to Article 239 AA by virtue of which special status is accorded to Delhi.
The High Court had dismissed the Delhi government's claim that the AAP-Centre tussle was a "classic" federal dispute.
Considering the constant run-ins between the LG and the Chief Minister, the bench said the proviso given under Article 239AA (69 th Amendment Act of 1991) of the Constitution clarifies that the L-G's decision would prevail in the event of a dispute.
"Law is very clear at present that LG partially enjoys delegated powers of President and partially he has to work in aid and advice of council of ministers".
To this, the bench said there are three things - executive action, difference of opinion and validity of such opinion, which needs to be deliberated. SC said, the LG will be the administrative head and will not be bound to advise of the council of ministers.