The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to entertain the Delhi government’s plea seeking to refer to a larger bench of the Delhi high court a bunch of petitions seeking clarity on powers of Lieutenant Governor on the governance of the national capital.
A bench of justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra declined to pass any order saying the matter was already pending before the high court.
Earlier, the city government had made similar application before a bench headed by chief justice G Rohini on the issue of interpretation of Article 239AA saying the issue “involves interpretation of the Constitution” and “raises substantial question of law of great public importance”.
It had contended that there have been two contradicting verdicts from the high court on the issue due to which, it should be referred to a larger bench.
It had sought the court to decide as a “preliminary issue” whether the petitions have to be referred to a larger bench.
It contended that the Centre was trying to interpret Article 239AA to mean that Union government is the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and “if that interpretation is accepted, then a democratically elected government will be reduced to zero”.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Centre, had contended that there was no need for referring the petitions to a larger bench.
Arguing on the larger issue of interpretation of Article 239AA, the ASG had contended that “appropriate government” means the Union government where union territories are concerned.