The Delhi high court on Thursday ruled in favour of the lieutenant governor (L-G) in a tussle for the reins of the Capital.
An HC bench headed by chief justice G Rohini said L-G Najeeb Jung is Delhi’s administrative head and isn’t bound by the advice of the city council of ministers.
The decision is a huge setback to the AAP government that wants complete control of the city and has repeatedly blamed the L-G of trying to rule by proxy and bypassing an elected administration.
Here are ten take-aways from the verdict:
1. Delhi continues to be a Union Territory even after the Constitution (69th Amendment) Act, 1991 inserting Article 239AA making special provisions with respect to Delhi.
“On a reading of Article 239 and Article 239AA (special provisions to Delhi) of the Constitution together with the provisions of
the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991... it becomes manifest that Delhi continues to be a Union Territory,” the bench said.
The AAP has now said that it will challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.
2. Delhi will continue to be administered by the President acting through an administrator -- the Lieutenant Governor.
This means the city government has no control over important departments such as law and order and agencies such as the Delhi Development Authority.
3. The L-G is not bound to act only on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.
4. Decisions of the Delhi government has to be communicated to the LG for approval.
5. LG has primacy over appointment of central government employees in the capital.
6. The city’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) cannot take cognizance of offences against central government officers.
7. Commission of inquiry to look into CNG Fitness scam and alleged irregularities in DDCA is illegal as it was issued without seeking the views of LG.
8. Appointment of Nominee Directors of Delhi government on Board of BSES Rajdhani Power Limited, BSES Yamuna Power Limited and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited by the Delhi Power Company Limited is illegal.
9. Delhi government’s direction to Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission to compensate consumers in case of unscheduled power cuts is illegal as such policy directions cannot be issued without communicating to the LG.
10. LG could appointment of Special Public Prosecutors, but such power has to be exercised on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.