Constitution Bench of SC commences hearing on Delhi-Centre governance row

Constitution Bench of SC commences hearing on Delhi-Centre governance row

"We think it appropriate that the writ petitioners shall file interlocutory pleas in the pending writ petition... before the Constitution bench", the court said.

Pushing for more power for the state government in areas of public order and land, he said, "I am not questioning parliamentary supremacy but an elected government can not be sans power".

The Supreme Court on Thursday indicated that it may fix a time frame within which the Delhi Lt. Governor should dispose of the files sent to him by the state government and in case of delay in clearing files, he will have to assign reasons. The L-G, he added, was holding meeting separately with the officials without ministers.

The bench also asked the petitioners to file interlocutory pleas in the pending petition to be dealt with by the constitution bench.

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.




Opened the arguments on behalf of the Delhi government, advocate Gopal Subramanium emphasised the special provision of Article 239 AA that grants statehood to Delhi.

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. 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.

Delhi was given an assembly and an elected government through Article 239 (AA) incorporated in the Constitution by the 69th amendment in 1991. The L-G must exercise his functions with the aid and advice of the council of ministers, which has a collective responsibility and accountability to the people. Mr Subramanian told the apex court that the Kejriwal government should be given more power.

The apex court, however, made it clear that the Lieutenant Governor can not sit on files, sent by the state government, beyond a reasonable period.

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