L-G has no independent power, bound by advice of Elected Delhi Government: Supreme Court

Arvind Kejriwal Anil Baijal
Arvind Kejriwal Anil Baijal

New Delhi, July 4: The Supreme Court Wednesday said the Lieutenant Governor cannot act independently unless where the Constitution allows and must take advise of the Elected Delhi Government. 

The bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said  ‘The LG must work harmoniously with the state, the LG and council of ministers have to be constantly aligned.’

It further ruled that in case of difference of opinion with the Council of Ministers, the LG has to refer the matter to the President, whose decision then would be binding.

The court said that the provision that the LG can refer “any matter” under Article 239 to the President does not mean every matter.

Concluding the judgment Misra stated the concurrence of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal not required on all matters. No authority should feel It has been lionised and Mutual respect is the key.

Besides this, the top observed that the national capital is not a full state in view of an earlier nine-judge judgment. So with this, the role of the L-G is different than that of a Governor.

Earlier the Apex Court had reserved its judgment on the petition filed by of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government challenging the Delhi High Court’s ruling, which said that Delhi is a Union Territory and the Lieutenant Governor, its administrative head.

Last year in November, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the top court observed that the AAP government needs the Lieutenant Governor’s approval to govern the national capital, but the LG cannot sit on files beyond a reasonable period.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan had reserved the judgment in the matter following a 15-day long hearing.

On the related note, the Centre, however, told the apex court that the AAP cannot claim privileges of a state government because Delhi is a Union Territory.

The Centre also refuted allegations of the Arvind Kejriwal-led government that the Lieutenant Governor sat on files sent by the government for their execution.

The Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor has been witnessing the power tussle since the formation of the AAP government here.

Recently in June, Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues including Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and others staged a nine-day sit-in protest at Raj Niwas, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal’s office-cum-residence, to press demands.

Their demands were a direction to IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their “strike”, action against officers who have struck work for “four months” and a nod to his government’s proposal for doorstep delivery of ration.


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