The Centre has approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Delhi High Court ruling that empowered the AAP government in Delhi to enhance circle rates with the concurrence of the Lieutenant Governor.
In an appeal filed before the top court, the Ministry of Home Affairs contended the August 2016 verdict that rules L-G was the administrative head of Delhi had given an erroneous finding on the issue of circle rates.
Though the HC had quashed the AAP government’s notification enhancing the rates, it recorded a finding that the elected government and not the Centre could fix the price meant for alienation or transfer of land in Delhi.
This finding, Centre said, was contrary to law that specifically exempts the Delhi Assembly to frame laws. Circle rate is meant for land that is under Centre’s control and falls within the exclusive domain of the Parliament.
A bench headed by Justice AK Sikri took note of the appeal and issue notice to the Arvind Kejriwal government for a response. It said the matter will come up for hearing on January 18 when all the other petitions related to the power-tussle between Centre and Delhi come up.
However, in a to the Kejriwal administration the bench had in the last hearing observed orally that government elected by the people should have certain rights and powers. The remarks were made when counsel for AAP government said the Centre had made it impossible for the elected representatives to perform their role.
In its appeal before the Supreme Court, the AAP government has challenged the HC verdict holding the L-G was not required to act on the advice of the Delhi cabinet and had the power to refer issues of dissent between him/her and the elected government to the president of India.
In the petition, the AAP government said that the rationale of the HC court judgment was “deeply flawed”. It said the HC’s interpretation was “completely contrary to the democratic spirit and the basic structure of the constitution. It is also contrary to the plain and conscious legislative scheme.”