May consider fixing time for Delhi LG to clear files, indicates SC

03 November, 2017, 00:22 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • AAP govt needs LG ‘approval’ to govern Delhi SC

He added that even when there were differences between the L-G and state government, "the L-G can not be sitting on a file". Kejriwal government has challenged the August 4, 2016 judgment of the Delhi High Court that declared the L-G as the "administrative head" and ruled that he is not bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers. However, the court observed that under the provisions of the constitution, the Lieutenant Governor has the last word and the elected government would have to operate within this framework.

A five-judge Constitution bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Kanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, made this preliminary observation when senior lawyer Gopal Subramaniam, representing the AAP government, argued that the L-G had created a situation where no bureaucrat is obeying directions of ministers and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Subramanium also sought to know if this "is contemplated under Article 239AA".

The apex court said that Article 239AA of Constitution is unique with respect to Delhi and prima facie it appears that the LG is given more powers here, unlike in the other Union Territories. You are an elected government but these are parts of law, governing Delhi. The higher the degree of power, the higher the degree of trust, he argued before the Constitution bench. Justice Chandrachud ruled that the LG can not sit on files for long and has to pass it forth to the President of India in case of a difference of opinion.

"Yes, there should be an element of objectivity in exercise of power by the L G following the difference of opinion". 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.


Subramanium stressed said the court must "interpret the text and values behind the provisions of Article 239AA of the Constitution" and the goal it serves.

The two-judge Bench said there are several questions of law that need to be interpreted and settled by a Constitution Bench.

"If Jan Lokpal is passed in Delhi, then our MLAs will be trapped, our ministers will be trapped, our Chief Minister will be trapped, it's good for you (central government), so pass it". Mr Subramanian told the apex court that the Kejriwal government should be given more power.

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