Centre vs Delhi: SC to look into AAP’s plea of constitution bench

indian-sCThe tug-of-war between the Lt Governor and Delhi government is far from over. The Supreme Court today said it would look into the plea for early setting up of a constitution bench to hear AAP government’s appeals against the high court verdict holding LG as the administrative head of Delhi.

After the Delhi High Court’s verdict to hold Lieutenant Governor (LG) as administrative head of Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on approached the Supreme Court for setting up a five-judge constitution bench to decide on the issue.

The matter was mentioned by the Delhi government before a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar who said, “we will see whether it will come up before or after the summer vacations.”

Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, representing Delhi government, told the bench that this matter has been referred to a five-judge constitution bench and the court, while referring the matter, had “acknowledged that it is an urgent matter”.

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He told the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, that the court had given them the liberty to mention the matter before the Chief Justice for early setting up of the constitution bench.

In August last year, the Delhi High Court upheld the administrative powers of the Lieutenant Governor in matters of public order, land, police and services including the powers to appoint civil servants.

The High Court had validated the notification of the Centre. The High Court had asserted that Delhi is a Union Territory and the administrative powers of the Delhi L-G continue to be supreme.

On 15 Feb, The Supreme Court had referred the legal dispute between the Centre and the AAP government to a Constitution bench stating that “important questions of law and Constitution are involved in the case and the dispute should be adjudicated by constitution bench.”

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