New Delhi: A Supreme Court Constitution Bench Wednesday unanimously ruled in favour of the Arvind Kejriwal government saying that the real powers of governance of Delhi rests with the elected representatives. The apex court said the Lieutenant Governor (LG) was bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Minister in all the areas except land, police and law and order.
Speaking for Justice AK Sikri and Justice AM Khanwilkar, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the LG was not vested with any independent decision-making powers and cannot act in a mechanical manner.
It further ruled that in case of difference of opinion with the Council of Ministers, the LG has to refer the matter to the President, whose decision then would be binding.
The court further stated that the decisions of the council of ministers has to be communicated to the LG but that does not mean that the council of ministers requires his concurrence.
The court said that the provision that the LG can refer “any matter” under Article 239 to the President does not mean every matter.
Chief Justice Misra said that the executive powers of the Delhi government were co-extensive with its legislative powers.
The top court further said that Delhi can legislate on any issue that falls in the state list or the concurrent list except for three areas of land, police, law and order. Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan pronounced separate but concurring judgements.
The verdict set off celebrations among Aam Admi Party supporters and workers, who danced in the streets, distributed sweets and beat drums. “A big victory for the people of Delhi … a big victory for democracy,” Kejriwal tweeted.
It was ruling on a batch of appeals filed by Kejriwal’s government challenging the Delhi High Court’s order holding the LG as the administrative head of the national capital. Disagreeing with the High Court order, the Supreme Court said the LG should not act in a mechanical manner and stall the decisions of the council of ministers.
Pondi CM wants SC ruling replicated
Puducherry: The Supreme Court judgement curtailing the powers of the Lt Governor of Delhi Wednesday prompted a demand for its replication in Pondicherry, with Chief Minister V Narayanasamy warning he would launch legal proceedings if the verdict was violated. Naranaswamy, who is locked in a bitter turf war with Union Territory Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for a long time now, hailed the SC judgement, and insisted it was “totally applicable” to Pondicherry. A combative Narayanasamy warned he would file a contempt petition if the apex court order was not
followed in Pondicherry.