Kejriwal vs LG tussle: SC agrees to hear AAP govt’s plea to restrain HC from pronouncing verdict

Kejriwal vs LG tussle: SC agrees to hear AAP govt’s plea to restrain HC from pronouncing verdict

Supreme Court today agreed to hear on Monday the plea of AAP government in Delhi for a direction to restrain the High Court from delivering its judgement on issues including the scope of powers of the city government to exercise its authority in performing public functions.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur will hear the appeal of Delhi government in which it has been claimed that only the apex court has jurisdiction under the Constitution to deal with issues relating to the powers of States and Centre.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the Arvind Kejriwal-led government, mentioned the matter for urgent hearing before the bench that also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. No judgement be allowed to be delivered without decision on the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court with regard to the dispute in question, the senior lawyer said. She further said that the dispute is centered around the powers of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) under Article 239A of the Constitution

The Supreme Court has on May 15 in a very significant decision admitted a petition filed by Delhi’s Kejriwal government--- under Article 131 of the Constitution ---seeking a judicial declaration on the boundaries of the constitutional relationship between the Delhi government and the Centre, in administering the national Capital especially to clearly earmark each of their powers.

The Registry of the court issued summons to the Union of India “represented by the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs” on May 11 and specified that the matter would be taken up after the apex court’s summer vacation

This is following a sustained conflict between the AAP Government and the Centre through its Governor Najeeb Jungwho have been engaged in an intense power struggle ever since  Kejriwal took over the reins of Delhi 15 months ago.

Delhi government moved the apex court under a rarely invoked provision - Article 131 of the Constitution - which vests exclusive jurisdiction with the Supreme Court over disputes between states of the Union and between the Union and its states.

Emphasising that it wants to ensure that day-to-day lives of people are not affected by the Centre-state conflict, the petition points out that the L-G had unprecedently declared void several orders issued by a democratically-elected government of Delhi.

From the appointment of public prosecutors, to the setting up of Commissions of Enquiry to look into instances of corruption and maladministration by public servants, the Union - acting through the Lieutenant Governor - has opposed most executive decisions taken by the government of NCT of Delhi, the Kejriwal government has told apex court.

LG had declared as void commissions of enquiry into CNG fitness scam and DDCA scam., Orders increasing salaries of DANICS officers have been declared void by LG, Anti-Corruption Branch restrained from registering FIRs against employees of Central Government for corruption, Tiff over appointment of Public Prosecutors and government counsels, Fight over control of Delhi Police, Delhi government not allowed to introduce bills in Delhi Assembly without LG’s approval, Delhi government not given say on transfer postings of Delhi bureaucrats

“We want to ensure that day-to-day lives of people are not affected by the centre-state conflict. The Lieutenant Governor has unprecedently declared void several orders issued by a democratically-elected government of Delhi” Kejriwal government told the Supreme Court

“From the appointment of public prosecutors, to the setting up of Commissions of Enquiry to look into instances of corruption and maladministration by public servants, the Union - acting through the Lieutenant Governor - has opposed most executive decisions taken by the government of NCT of Delhi, it said.