17 Nov 2022 1:14 PM GMT
The Supreme Court, on Thursday agreed to defer the hearing of the dispute between the Delhi Government and the Union Government regarding control of administrative services in the National Capital Territory of Delhi to 8th December, 2022, at the request of the Solicitor General of India, Mr. Tushar Mehta. However, the request of the Solicitor was opposed by Advocate, Mr. Shadan Farasat,...
The Supreme Court, on Thursday agreed to defer the hearing of the dispute between the Delhi Government and the Union Government regarding control of administrative services in the National Capital Territory of Delhi to 8th December, 2022, at the request of the Solicitor General of India, Mr. Tushar Mehta. However, the request of the Solicitor was opposed by Advocate, Mr. Shadan Farasat, the Counsel appearing for the Delhi Government. He objected stating -
"Four dates have been taken at the behest of the Union of India. The Union of India has to organise its affairs in terms with the order of the court and not the other way round."
Senior Advocate, Dr. A.M. Singhvi appearing for the Delhi Government also objected to the deferment sought in the matter.
"I am in great pain. My friend says 8th December, I have no option. But it should be on the 8th irrespective of anything."
On 19.10.202, Mr. Mehta had mentioned the matter before the Apex Court and sought deferment on the ground that he would be travelling outside India from 7th November, 2022 to 13th November, 2022 for official work. Accordingly the Court posted the hearing for 24th November.
On 27.09.2022, a 5-judge Bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, M.R. Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and P.S. Narasimha had stated that the hearing would proceed on a day-to-day basis from 9th November, 2022. Prior to that, the Constitution Bench had posted the matter on 27th September, 2022 to fix the timeline for hearing and indicated that it will proceed with the hearing tentatively from 11th October, 2022.
Hearing Mr. Farasat's objection, CJI remarked –
"The only problem is this, that a number of Constitution Benches are going on and there are limited people from the Union of India who can appear before a Constitution Bench."
To add to what the CJI had reckoned, Mr. Mehta stated -
" For eg. Mr. Raju is before CB in court no. 2. We are also scattered."
Mr. Mehta had sought for the deferment on the ground that the demonetisation matter before another Constitution Bench has been listed for hearing on 24th November. He apprised the Bench that on the last occasion, when the Centre had sought for adjournment before the said Constitution Bench, it had expressed displeasure and very reluctantly adjourned the matter to 24th November. In view of the same, Mr. Mehta beseeched the CJI to consider deferring the present matter to 8th December, 2022.
A 3-Judge Bench led by the CJI, NV Ramana, on 06.05.2022, had referred to the Constitution Bench the limited questions regarding the control over administrative services in the National Capital Territory. The 3-Jugde Bench had observed that the main contention relates to interpretation of phrases 'any such matter is applicable to UT's' and 'subject to provisions of this constitution' in Article 239AA(3)(a).
"The Constitution bench while interpreting 239AA didn't specifically interpret the impact of wording of the same with regard to entry 41 of state list. We deem it appropriate to refer the above limited question to the Constitution bench."
In February 2019, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had delivered a split verdict on the question of powers of the GNCTD and Union Government over services and referred the matter to a 3-Judge Bench, which has now referred a limited question of law to the Constitution Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.
In July 2018, a 5-judge bench of the Supreme Court had laid down broad parameters for governance of the national capital, amid the differences between the elected government and the Lieutenant Governor. The matter was referred to the Constitution bench by a Division Bench of the Apex Court by an order dated 15.02.2017.
Before the 3-Judge Bench led by CJI Ramana, the Union of India had urged that referral to a Constitution Bench is necessary for a holistic interpretation of Article 239AA which is central to the determination of issues involved. The Union's request for a referral was opposed by Senior Advocate AM Singhvi appearing for the Delhi Government. He had submitted that Union's request for referral of issues which have already been dealt with by the Constitution Bench would amount to reconsideration or review of 2018 Constitution bench judgment.