Supreme Court to hear Aam Aadmi Party’s petition to dissolve Delhi Assembly

Supreme Court to hear Aam Aadmi Party’s petition to dissolve Delhi Assembly

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam has given its nod to hear the Aam Aadmi Party's petition on February 24. The petition seeks a direction to the Lieutenant Governor to dissolve Delhi Assembly and conduct fresh polls along with Lok Sabha elections. Appearing for AAP, Advocate Prashant Bhushan stated that the Lieutenant Governor should have dissolved the Assembly, as there is no probability of any different government in Delhi.

Challenging the decision to enact President's rule in Delhi on the suggestion of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, a joint petition has been filed on the basis of newspaper reports and documents available in public domain by AAP and Saurabh Bhardwaj, who was the Transport minister in Kejriwal cabinet, who alleged that President’s rule in Delhi was enacted to shield Congress leaders and former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit from corruption.

According to the petition, apart from suspending some of the provisions of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, the order did not suspend the operation of the provision of clause 2 (a) of Article 239 AA which provides that there shall be a Legislative Assembly and thus, assumed power of legislatures, council of Ministers etc. without suspending Legislative Assembly. The petition further stated that in the present case, after assuming to himself all the powers of the Lieutenant Governor to himself, with help and assistance of the Council of Ministers, it was mandatory on the President, to exercise the power to dissolve the Assembly mainly since there was no possibility whatever of the formation of any other government since other main political parties have already voiced their refusal and incompetence to form a government.

The intention behind passing the 16 February order imposing President's rule, according to AAP, was to disturb the ongoing probe in those corruption cases in which FIR has been lodged by the Arvind Kejriwal government. Thus, according to the petition the decision besides being arbitrary and illegal, also violated the democratic rights of the citizens of Delhi and also mala fide. According to the petition the order to impose President's rule was illegal, arbitrary and violated Article 14 of the Constitution as after the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal government neither BJP nor Congress were in a position to form the government and they had already voiced their reluctance in this regard.

Constitutional questions were also raised through the petition, to keep the assembly under adjourned animation by ignoring the definite suggestion of the majority government of the NCT of Delhi for dissolving the House. The petition filed through advocate Kamini Jaiswal has said that the citizens of Delhi have been denied their democratic right to have an elected popular government by imposing President's rule in Delhi. It further stated that the 5th Assembly of the NCT of Delhi has not been dissolved while imposing President's rule on the NCT of Delhi. The President of India while imposing President's rule under Article 239 AB (1) of the Constitution vide the impugned order suspended operations of clause 3(a), 4, 5 and 6 of Article 239 AA which are special provisions with respect to Delhi and deal with powers of legislatures, council of Ministers etc.