Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, on the face of it, needs the Lieutenant Governor's nod to govern the national capital, but the city's administrative head can not sit on files beyond a reasonable period, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday.The court is hearing the Delhi government's appeal against last year's High Court order that the Lieutenant Governor is the national capital's boss. One lakh posts are vacant in Delhi, but the problem is that the Kejriwal government had to take instructions from the Lieutenant Governor to fill these vacancies, Mr Subramanium submitted.
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court today commenced the hearing on petitions related to power tussle between Delhi's Arvind Kejriwal government and the Centre. He also added that Delhi is the only Union Territory which enjoys maximum autonomy.
"Land, police and public order isn't under you", the bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said.
The city government had on February 2 told the apex court that it has exclusive executive powers in relation to matters falling within the purview of the Legislative Assembly and neither the Centre nor the President or the LG can encroach upon these. AAP's counsel, senior lawyer Gopal Subramaniam argued that since the Delhi state government was elected by people, it can not continue to function without adequate power.
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Taking a "prima-facie" view, the Supreme Court observed that the Lieutenant General (L-G) seems to have primacy under the Constitution and the Delhi government can not act without L-G's concurrence.
He said the challenge is to Article 239 AA by virtue of which special status is accorded to Delhi.
It put several questions on Article 239AA to senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who led the arguments for the Delhi government.
He said that proviso (4) in Article 239AA can not be used by the L-G to frustrate the constitutional mandate of an elected government in Delhi.
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