Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government, locked in a very public tussle with the BJP-led Centre on the issue of scope of powers of the elected government of Delhi, has now approached country’s top court to hear the issue. What is interesting that the plea has come amid the anticipation of Delhi High Court’s verdict on the same subject, which was also filed by the Delhi government last year. The matter will now come up for hearing next week on Monday.
In its plea before the Supreme Court, the AAP government has sought that Delhi High Court be restrained from delivering its judgement as the apex court alone has the exclusive jurisdiction to hear the matters involving federal structure, especially the issues relating to the powers of States and Centre.
Interestingly, the Delhi government had on May 28 last year approached the high court challenging the Centre’s notification of May 21, 2015 giving the LG absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats in the city.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur will hear the Delhi government’s appeal on Monday.
“No judgement be allowed to be delivered without decision on the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court with regard to the dispute in question,” she said arguing that the dispute is centered around the powers of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) under Article 239A of the Constitution.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP has been alleging that the elected government is unable to function as most of its decisions are either annulled or changed by Centre at the behest of Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung on the ground that Delhi is not a complete state.
In its plea, the Delhi government has also raised a question as to whether the Union of India can take over all powers of the state government.
A total of 11 cases arising out of the confrontation between the LG and Delhi government are being heard together by the Delhi high court.
Among the matters where Kejriwal government have locked horns with the Centre also includes the July 23, 2014 notification by the Centre limiting the jurisdiction of the Anti Corruption Branch to Delhi government officials only.
The recent issue of President returning the AAP’s legislation to protect its 21 MLAs from the disqualification for holding the ‘Office of Profit’ has also added to the already heightened tussle. That matter is now before the Election Commission.