SC Constitution Bench Judgment In Kejriwal Govt Vs Lt Governor Power Tussle Tomorrow
Seven months after reserving judgment, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will at 10:30 AM tomorrow deliver the much-awaited verdict on who between them wields the superior power of administration and governance over the National Capital- Kejriwal-led government or the Centre through Lt Governor.
The Judgment was reserved on December 6, 2017.
Kejriwal government had challenged the August 4, 2016 judgment of the Delhi High Court that declared the L-G as the 'administrative head" and ruled that he is not bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers.
Besides CJI Misra, other members of the bench are Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.
Delhi government was represented by a galaxy of senior advocates including Gopal Subramanium, Rajeev Dhawan, P Chidambaram and Indira Jaising.
The Centre was represented by Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, who had argued that the Delhi government cannot stake any claim to have executive power over the sensitive National Capital.
The Kejriwal government argued that Article 239AA (Special Provisions with respect to Delhi) conferred the right upon the people of the NCT of Delhi to elect their own legislature and government to make laws under certain entries of the state list of the seventh schedule of the Constitution and execute these laws respectively.
It argued that the Legislative Assembly of the NCT of Delhi "shall have the power to make laws for the whole or any part of the NCT with respect to any of the matters enumerated on the state list, except matters with respect to public order, police and land".
BENCH’S STAND DURING HEARING
During the hearing which went on for a month, the bench had repeatedly observed that only a "harmonious" relationship between the Lt Governor (L-G) and the Delhi government and a "participative approach" can ensure smooth governance of the national Capital.
At the same time the Constitution Bench said it was of the prima-facie view that the governor had no power to interfere with the day-to-day governance and is also bound to refer to the President all files, in which there was a difference of opinion with the Cabinet.
"Actually it has to be participative governance. There has to be some kind of harmony. There cannot be day-to-day interference by the Governor. The provisions do not permit that.", CJI Misra once observed.