State vs LG: SC reminds Delhi of its power limitations

In an affidavit the Centre had told the court that it could not going to allow any more opportunity to deposit the notes

In an affidavit the Centre had told the court that it could not going to allow any more opportunity to deposit the notes

Justice Chandrachud said that the President exercises his administrative control over Union Territory through Lt Governor, and if there are specific instances of excesses, then the court can address them. Subramanium also sought to know if this "is contemplated under Article 239AA". Instead, he was required to forward them to the President within a "reasonable time", the court said."In urgent matters, it is the L-G who is given primacy..."

The apex court, however, had said that it is correct that the elected government should have some powers but whether it will be as per the Delhi High Court verdict or as it is being perceived by the Delhi government needed to be looked into.

Subramanium cited the instances of Lt. Governor holding meeting with the officials without the presence of Ministers concerned and issuing instructions.

The Constitution has given a face and identity to a government in Delhi after inclusion of Article 239AA and the executive decisions taken and implemented by it can not be reversed by the LG, it had contended. Prima facie it appears that it gives more power to Lieutenant Governor, unlike other Union Territories.

The appeals were referred to the Constitution Bench in February by a Division Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and R. K. Agrawal.

It had said that the special constitutional provision Article 239AA dealing with Delhi does not "dilute" the effect of Article 239 which relates to the union territory and hence, the concurrence of the LG in administrative issues was "mandatory".

The High Court had dismissed the Delhi government's claim that the AAP-Centre tussle was a "classic" federal dispute. "It was not a structural addition to the Constitution and has been founded on constitutional values of accountability, transparency and amenity to the rule of law, which need to be considered in this case", he said.

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.

Hearing will continue on November 7.

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