Arvind Kejriwal vs Centre In Supreme Court Resumes Today: 10 Points

 
Arvind Kejriwal vs Centre In Supreme Court Resumes Today: 10 Points

 

NEW DELHI:  A petition by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's government that accuses the centre of flagrantly eating into its authority will be heard by five judges of the Supreme Court today. The city government wants the court to decide if the Constitution had meant the elected government to be a toothless body, with powers to veto its decisions vested in the Lieutenant Governor who it alleges often sits on files. Last year, the High Court had ruled that the Lieutenant Governor is the administrative boss of Delhi.
Here is your 10-point-guide to this story:
As a constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra started hearing the case last week, Delhi government's lawyer Gopal Subramanium argued that an elected government cannot be without any power.
In verbal observations, the top court said Delhi's Lieutenant Governor or LG appeared to have primacy in the national capital under the Constitution but underlined that the Lt Governor cannot "sit over files" beyond a reasonable period.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has lined up a battery of nine top lawyers including former Home Minister P Chidambaram, constitutional expert Rajeev Dawan and Indira Jaising to argue its case. The centre's top law officer Attorney General KK Venugopal hasn't appeared for the centre because he represented AAP earlier and his number 2 Ranjit Kumar quit recently. Law officer Maninder Singh represented the centre at the last hearing.
Under the Constitution and the law, the city government does not have any control in matters of land, police and public order. In all other matters, the Lieutenant Governor has to be guided by the aid and advice of the elected government as happens in all states.
For the national capital, however, there is a fine print. The LG, unlike a Governor, also has the power to disagree with the Delhi Cabinet on any advice. In such cases, the LG has to ask the centre to take the call but as an interim measure, can overrule the city government.
It is argued that this provision was meant as a safeguard by parliament. In practice, the provisions were interpreted in a way that every decision of the elected government was dependent on the LG's concurrence.
"More than 1.14 lakh vacancies are there, but I cannot fill it up and have to seek LG's permission. I can't take steps to stop deaths in sewers. This is hampering governance," Mr Subramanium told the court last week.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been locked in a power tussle with the Centre ever since his AAP swept to power in the national capital in 2015.
Within months, the NDA government took the anti-corruption unit away from the city government and withdrew a 1998 concession granted by BJP patriarch LK Advani that mandated the LG to consult the elected government on every decision relating to police, public order and bureaucratic appointments.
These decisions were the starting point of the tussle for power. The Chief Minister says that any important decision taken by his government is negated by the Lieutenant Governor, who he accuses of acting as a stooge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in undermining the Delhi government.   

Source: (ndtv.com)