Real power rests with the Council of Ministers: SC on LG-AAP tussle

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Lieutenant Governor did not possess any independent power, ending the tussle between the Indian Government and the elected government in Delhi, Aam Admi Party. It said the L-G must take the aid and council of his ministers.

The hearing was carried out by a five-judge bench, headed by CJI Deepak Mishra and comprised of Justice A K Sikri, Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan.

The SC said that since the capital was not a full state and enjoyed special status, the role of the L-G was different from that of a Governor.

It added that neither the L-G nor the state had full authority over the ruling, but rather had a joint motive to serve constitutional obligations.

“There is no space for absolutism or anarchy in our Constitution,” the SC said.

In its unanimous verdict, the SC ruled ‘the real power rests with the Council of Ministers. The Delhi government has the power to legislate on all issues except land, police and public order, as per provisions in the Constitution.’

After the ruling, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “A big victory for the people of Delhi…a big victory for democracy…”

Earlier, the CM had accused L-G Anil Bajjal of taking decisions instead of the elected government and delaying work. The Indian Government had said that ‘for any Centrally administered territory… and especially Delhi in respect of its unique position… responsibility is on the shoulders of the Union Government’.

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