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SC begins hearing on Delhi govt-L-G tussle

A constitution bench led by chief justice Dipak Misra had on July 4 ruled that the lieutenant-governor was bound to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers.

delhi Updated: Aug 30, 2018 08:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
SC,LG,Delhi
The Supreme Court on Wednesday started hearing the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government’s appeal against the Delhi high court verdict holding the lieutenant-governor — currently Anil Baijal — as the executive head of the National Capital.(PTI)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday started hearing the Delhi government’s appeal against the Delhi high court verdict holding the lieutenant-governor as the executive head of the Capital. A bench of justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan is also hearing challenges to individual notifications by the Centre giving the L-G discretionary powers to take decisions.

A constitution bench led by chief justice Dipak Misra had on July 4 ruled that the lieutenant-governor was bound to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers.

It also ruled that the L-G exercised no independent powers as the central government’s representative except in law and order, police and land.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram commenced the arguments on the Delhi government’s behalf before a bench led by Justice AK Sikri. Chidambaram assailed the Centre’s 2015 notification that said the L-G had primacy in posting and transfers of officers belonging to central services.

Chidambaram, referring to the July 4 verdict, said services is not a reserved subject as it falls in the state list. As per the verdict, the L-G can exercise his discretion only on three issues – land, law and order and police.

Chidambaram said the Centre has the power to post IAS and IPS officers but once they were with the Delhi government, then the latter had every authority to decide their departments.

The notification was not as per the mandate of the constitution, which was also declared by the constitution bench, he said.

On being told by the bench, Chidambaram agreed to produce rules that govern transfer and posting of bureaucrats within the Delhi government. He is likely to continue his arguments on Thursday.

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 01:02 IST