The Delhi government should have some powers to function, the Supreme Court observed on Wednesday, listing for final disposal the appeal of the AAP government against a high court verdict that held the lieutenant governor was the national capital’s administrative head .
“The matter needs to be decided fast”, a bench of Justices AK Sikri and A M Sapre said, observing that without powers the government cannot function.
The bench listed the matter for final disposal on January 18, and said since it will hear the matter in detail, no interim orders will be passed on various interim applications as of now.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, said they are challenging the order of the high court, which has ruled that the LG’s consent is needed in all administrative decisions.
He said the high court has held that the aid and advise of council of ministers are not binding upon the LG.
“The elected government in Delhi cannot appoint the chief secretary or cannot even appoint a Class IV officer by itself,” Subramaniam said, noting that under the constitutional scheme of things the council of ministers is required to give aid and advice to the LG.
He said that the Constitution mandates that when there is difference of opinion on any issue, then the matter could be referred to the President.
As an interim relief, the senior lawyer sought stay order from the court on the decision of the LG to appoint the three- member Shunglu committee to inspect 400 files of the AAP government after the Delhi high court verdict came.
The Shunglu committee, which has submitted its report last month, was formed by LG Najeeb Jung on August 30 to examine over 400 files on decisions taken by the AAP dispensation.
The committee was chaired by former CAG V K Shunglu with ex-chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and ex-chief vigilance commissioner Pradeep Kumar as its members.
“Stay should also be granted on compulsory reference to the LG on every decision taken by the government and the LG should be directed to strictly comply with the provisions of the NCT Act,” he said.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said that no notice has been issued and therefore no reply has been filed on the appeals of the Delhi government.