Delhi-Centre row over jurisdiction: SC refers case to Constitution Bench

Published on 02 Mar 2017 by Team

NEW DELHI: The legal battle between Centre and NCT government led by Aam Aadmi Party on jurisdiction over Delhi will be adjudicated by a constitution bench as the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that important question of law and constitution are involved and it should be adjudicated by a larger bench.
A division bench of justice A K Sikri and R K Agrawal agreed with the plea of Centre which contended that the case should be referred to a constitution bench.

The court asked Centre and AAP government to mention before Chief Justice of India for early hearing of the case after NCT govt contended that the governance in Delhi had come to standstill after Delhi High Court order holding that LG was bound by aid and advice of elected government.

Challenging the order of Delhi high court which had held that primacy in administering the affairs rests with the LG and by extension, the Centre, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam had earlier told the bench that the order was a complete "mutilation" of Article 239 AA of the constitution granting special status to NCT.

It had alleged that a situation of anarchy had arisen in the National Capital Territorywith lieutenant governor overruling all its decision in violation of constitutional norms and pleaded the court to restore the supremacy of executive government in decision making process for Delhi.

Expounding constitutional provisions and law which regulate Delhi, Subramaniam had contended that the controversy was not about individuals who were holding posts but about supremacy of constitution. He said that an elected government should always have a primacy over a titular head of a state.

"The Government of National Capital Territory Of Delhi(GNCTD) Act explicitly limits the discretion of LG and any delegation of power given to him by the President can be used only to matters falling outside the purview of Delhi's legislature. The Act says these are matters on which the LG is required to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers," he had said.

He had said that under law Centre was allowed to deal with only issues relating to land, police and public order and the rest of the issues were to be handled by the NCT. "Since law rules out from area of LG's discretion all matters that fall within the purview of the elected government, there is no occasion for him to differ or have an opinion on these matters. There is no other constitutional or political principle which gives him any role in these matters," he had said.

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