After the Supreme Court Constitution bench delivered its verdict in a drawn-out tussle for power between the Delhi government and the Centre, legal experts welcomed the judgement saying the controversy should not have arisen at all.
Article 239AA of the Constitution clearly gives an edge to the Delhi government as it has an elected legislature and can legislate in accordance with the laid down provisions, said experts.
Former Union Law Secretary PK Malhotra, while speaking to ANI, said that this controversy should not have arisen at all in the first place. Article 239AA of the Constitution clearly gives an edge to the Government of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi as it has an elected legislature and can legislate in accordance with the laid down provisions.
“The law has specifically carved out areas where instead of NCT of Delhi, it is the central government that will have power, ie land, police and Law and Order. This position was clarified by a Constitution bench in 2018 also. What was implicit has been made explicit by the present judgement. Hope, this clarity will now lead to better governance in the NCT of Delhi,” said Malhotra.
Advocate Sumit Gehlot from Fidelegal Advocates and Solicitors said the Supreme Court has rightly given the reason for its decision that the administrative role of Lieutenant Governor cannot mean administration over the entire NCT Delhi, otherwise, the purpose of having a separate elected government in Delhi will be rendered futile.
Advocate Gehlot further said the legislative power of NCTD under Entry 41 would extend to IAS and it shall control them even if they are not recruited by the NCTD. Democratically elected government shall have control over its officers. If the elected government is not allowed to control its officers and hold them to account, then its responsibility towards the legislature and public is diluted. If the officer feel they are insulated from the elected Government, they will feel they are not accountable, he said.
“In my opinion, through this landmark decision today, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has maintained that the federal nature of the Constitution is its basic feature and cannot be altered. Complete political centralization or disordered political de-centralization both can be dangerous to Indian federalism,” added Advocate Gehlot.
The Supreme Court on Thursday held that the Government of the National Capital Territory will have control over all the administration of services, except the areas which are not specifically excluded from its domain such as police, public order and land and resolved the tussle between the Delhi government and LG.
The five Judge constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud unanimously held that the LG shall be bound by the decisions of the Council of Ministers except for the matters which are not in the cabinet’s domain.
Article 239AA 3(A) confers power upon the Delhi government but not on all subjects and a balance between both federal policies is pertinent. NCTD is not similar to other Union Territories and it has a status of sui generis.
This report is filed by ANI news service.