The peculiar status of the National Capital Territory and the powers of the Delhi Legislative Assembly and the Lieutenant Governor and their interplay will be debated in the case.
Services had been the bone of contention between the AAP government and the Centre, after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2015 added it to the list of reserved subjects, under the L-G's control. Pronouncing the verdict, the apex court observed that all the constitutional functionaries must uphold the constitutional morality and function with the spirit of the Constitution.
Penning down the major judgment for the bench, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, "L-G has no independent decision-making power and can not behave as an obstructionist when the constitution gives primacy to representative for of government and L-G and Aam Aadmi Party-led government must work in a harmonious manner".
In a separate but unanimous judgment, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: "L-G must remember it is the elected government which is answerable to the people".
"Land, police and public order isn't under you", the bench had then remarked.
Barely a few hours after the Supreme Court outlined the powers of the lieutenant governor vis-à-vis the elected government in Delhi, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party seems to have laid the ground for another tussle between the two.
In a decision with significant political ramifications, the Supreme Court today delivered a verdict that has seemingly brought an end to the administrative impasse in the national capital.
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But the Supreme Court order's striking down extra powers granted to the L-G over IAS/IPS staff via executive order allows the state government to carry out its work which otherwise would have been stuck at the L-G's office or at the President's.
However, the Centre told the apex court that the AAP can not claim privileges of a state government, as Delhi is a Union Territory.The Centre also refuted allegations of the Arvind Kejriwal-led government that the Lieutenant Governor sat on files sent by the government for their execution. But problems remain - the Delhi government will have no say on matters of land, police and public order.
#11:00 AM: LG can't delay Delhi govt decisions: "If legitimate decisions of the legislature are delayed by L-G, collective responsibility of govt stands negated". The high court had emphasized the administrative capacity of the L-G, while ruling that Delhi continues to be a union territory despite Article 239 AA of the Constitution which makes some special provisions with respect to Delhi.
The bench said, all decisions of the Council of Ministers must be communicated to the LG but that does not mean his concurrence is required.
#10:30 AM: Delhi Power Tussle: Supreme Court delivers split verdict in AAP vs Centre.
Additional solicitor general (ASG) Maninder Singh said, "They are admitting Delhi is not a state but claim power and privileges of a state".