SC Prescribes Harmony Between LG, CM For Governance Of Delhi

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New Delhi: A constitution bench of the Supreme Court ruled that apart from issues pertaining to land, police, and law and order, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi would be bound by the elected government of Delhi. With this verdict the administrative crisis in Delhi seems to have moved a step closer to resolution.

An earlier Delhi high court ruling had said that the L-G was the administrative head of Delhi. The fight between the L-G and the elected government, of the AamAadmi Party headed by ArvindKejriwal, has frequently impeded decision making in Delhi.

Wednesday’s judgment could change that, although the specific disputes between the two will now be decided by a two-judge bench of the apex court, and the home ministry could consider seeking a review of the ruling.

In its ruling, the constitution bench, headed by chief justice of India DipakMisra, said the L-G is bound by the “aid and advice” of the elected government, but also added that Delhi cannot be accorded complete statehood under the current Constitutional scheme.

Calling on both the constitutional authorities to work together, the five-judge bench interpreted contentious provisions under the Constitution at the heart of the case, Articles 239 AA and 239AB, to say that L-G’s concurrence is not required in every decision taken by the council of ministers – except on issues pertaining to land, police and law.

The AamAadmi Party and the Centre interpreted the judgement differently. The former saw it as a victory; the latter said it merely reiterates the special position of Delhi and that the L-G isn’t like other governors. The bench, also comprising justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan gave its verdict on the reference made to it by a bench of two judges to define the L-G’s role under the Constitution.

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