SC refuses to hear Kejriwal suit on tussle with LG; says will wait for appeal against HC order

SC refuses to hear Kejriwal suit on tussle with LG; says will wait for appeal against HC order

Supreme Court today refused to hear a suit 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.

A Bench of Justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana said since almost issues have been decided by the Delhi High Court which yesterday ruled that Lt Governor continued to be the administrative head of the national capital and that he was not bound by the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and his council of ministers, the best course would be to wait for the government to file appeal against the order and hear the suit and the SLP together.

After Indira Jaising, the lawyer for Delhi government agreed to the proposition, the bench adjourned the matter till August 29.

"Why hear your suit for a declaration of Delhi as a full State when the Delhi High Court has already declared it a Union Territory, better challenge the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court first," the bench told Jaising also criticizing the manner in which the government filed a writ petition in HC and suit on almost similar issues in the apex court resulting in multiple litigations and parallel proceedings.

Jaising said the primary question they want the apex court to answer is whether the dispute between AAP-Centre was a federal dispute coming under Article 131 of the Constitution. She went on to contend that the HC order was “invalid” as under article 131, only the apex court had the jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes between Centre and a state.

But it is to be noted that HC bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini had yesterday dealt with this issue also. It dismissed the Delhi government's claim that this is a 'federal dispute', saying the political wrangle between the Centre and AAP government is only a tussle over “services” issues which does not attract Article 131 of the Constitution.

The suit had been filed 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.