L-G versus Kejriwal: Top court gives split verdict on regulation, refers ‘Services’ jurisdiction to larger bench


The Supreme Court of India Thursday gave a split verdict on the tussle between the Lieutenant Governor and the Delhi government on the regulation of services in New Delhi. The bench comprising Justice A K Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan agreed on the government of India having control over the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) in Delhi.

However, it professed a difference in opinion on jurisdiction over ‘Services’ following which the issue was referred to a larger bench.

The court gave the Stamp Act, Electricity Board and Public Prosecutor to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) and Commission of inquiry, ACB to the GoI. The NCT also got the ‘Revision of minimum rates of agricultural land’ but the court said that the L-G can refer to the President of India in this case.

In July last year, a five-judge Constitution bench of the court directed broad parameters for governing Delhi, which has witnessed a battle for turf between the GoI and the Arvind Kejriwal government. The apex court had ruled that the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) has no “independent decision-making power” and that he has to take decisions on the advice of the Cabinet.

Following the direct, on September 19, the GoI had told the apex court that administration of Delhi cannot be left to the Delhi government alone and emphasized that it has an “extraordinary” position by virtue of Delhi being the country’s capital.

On the other hand, the Delhi government on October 4, told the apex court that it wanted its petitions relating to governance of Delhi be heard soon as it did not want “stalemate to continue in administration”. The bench had reserved its verdict in the case on November 1, 2018.

After the court referred the issue to a larger bench, the Twitter handle of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), tweeted actor Sunny Deol’s ‘tarikh pe tarikh’ clip.

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