‘Delhi under Centre’s control, not full-fledged state’

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 27, 2016 20:47 IST

The Centre, which has been at loggerheads with the AAP government over powers of governance, on Wednesday told the high court that Delhi remains in their control as it is not a full-fledged state.

“S Balakrishna committee... report had studied various capitals of the world and came to the conclusion that Delhi cannot be a full-fledged state,” a bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice Jayant Nath was told.

This recommendation is the fountain-head of Article 239AA of the Constitution, said additional solicitor general (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Central government.

He further said that Delhi “remains to be under the overall control of the Centre as it is not a full-fledged state but a union territory/National Capital Territory.”

The submission was made by ASG during the final hearing on the issue of interpretation of Article 239AA regarding the powers of the Lieutenant Governor (LG) on governance of Delhi.

A total of eleven cases arising out of the spat between the LG and the Delhi government, are being heard together by the bench headed by the chief justice.

ASG further contended that office of the LG is unique and not as that of the Governor.

“Governor enjoys constitutional immunity but not the LG. He (present LG of Delhi) is the executive head of the state. The Chief Minister and his council has to aid and advise him, if there is a difference. Then the issue has to be referred to the President. LG is not a Mayor or a titular head,” he said.

He further said Delhi is a “centrally-administered capital, there has to a balance of powers.”

“Here we have an elected government with a Chief Minister, but the CM is not like that of other states because here we have a CM of a union territory which is also the capital of the country,” the Centre said.

The Delhi government on May 28 had approached high court challenging the Centre’s May 21 notification giving the LG an absolute powers in appointing bureaucrats in the city.

Along with the May 21 notification, Delhi government had also challenged the July 23, 2014 notification of the Centre which limited ACB’s jurisdiction to Delhi government officials only.

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