Soon after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict in a drawn-out tussle for power between the Delhi government and the Centre, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday expressed gratitude to the top court and said that “democracy won” following the judgment.
In a huge win for the Delhi government, the Supreme Court today said that in a democratic form of government, the real power of administration must rest on the elected arm of the government.
Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal said that the pace of development in Delhi will increase manifold with this decision.
“Heartfelt thanks to the Hon’ble Supreme Court for doing justice to the people of Delhi. With this decision, the pace of development of Delhi will increase manifold. Democracy won,” Kejriwal tweeted.
A Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, in a unanimous verdict, said that the Delhi government must have control over services, and the Lieutenant Governor is bound by its decision.
The court said that the Delhi government similar to other States represents the representative form of government and any further expansion of the Union’s power will be contrary to the Constitutional scheme.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann also reacted to the verdict and said in a Punjabi tweet, “A warm welcome to the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court today in favor of the people of Delhi… I sincerely salute the sincere struggle of @ArvindKejriwal Ji to save democracy in the country. A big victory has been sealed. Long live revolution.”
A five-judge Constitution bench of CJI Chandrachud and Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha pronounced the judgment on Thursday.
Supreme Court held that if administrative services are excluded from the legislative and executive domains, the ministers would be excluded from controlling the civil servants who are to implement the executive decisions.
It said that states too have the power but the executive power of the State will be subject to the law existing of the Union. It has to be ensured that the governance of States is not taken over by the Union.
Supreme Court said in a democratic form of government, the real power of administration must rest with the elected government. If a democratically elected government is not given the power to control the officers, the principle of the triple chain of accountability will be redundant.
It said if the officers stop reporting to the ministers or do not abide by their directions, the principle of collective responsibility is affected.
A five-judge Constitution bench of CJI DY Chandrachud and Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha pronounced the judgment on Thursday.
The five-judge bench had reserved its judgment on January 18 this year.
Governance of the national capital has witnessed a power struggle between the Centre and the Delhi government since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power in 2014.
The case was posted before a Constitution bench after a three-judge bench had in May 2021 decided to send it to a larger bench on a request by the Central government.
This report is filed by ANI news service.