Supreme Court Constitution bench begins hearing on Delhi-Centre governance row

Supreme Court Constitution bench begins hearing on Delhi-Centre governance row

He added that even when there were differences between the L-G and state government, "the L-G can not be sitting on a file".

AAP government's counsel pointed out that an elected government can not be without any power.

The Constitution has given a face and identity to a government in Delhi after inclusion of Article 239AA and the executive decisions taken and implemented by it can not be reversed by the LG, it had contended. "Article 239AA is unique to Delhi".

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Assailing this finding Mr Subramanium said the HC verdict subverted the democratic governance structure put by a constitutional arrangement, which recognises Delhi's special powers despite being a Union Territory.

Justice Chandrachud said the L-G had to clear files within a reasonable period of time and if there is a delay, specify the reasons on file. Provision (4) in the Article 239AA can not be exploited by the LG to frustrate the constitutional mandate suggested the SC adding that President should be consulted immediately in cases of difference of opinion.

Not agreeing to the argument that Council of Ministers can aid and advise the Lt. Governor on every issue, Chief Justice Misra said that it can only do do on which legislature (Delhi assembly) can enact laws. The existence of the LG in administrative issues was "mandatory" mentioned the apex court and the AAP government will have to adopt in the framework. Supposing there is a difference of opinion, you have to find what are differences of opinion. "It was not a structural addition to the Constitution and has been founded on constitutional values of accountability, transparency and amenity to the rule of law, which need to be considered in this case", he said.

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"Parliament's supremacy is not doubted but legislative existence needs to be accepted and both can co-exist. Then why have a government when it can't exercise its duties", Subramanium said.

"This is a case where LG enjoys supreme power and is the ultimate authority where aid and advice of council of ministers is neutralised", Subramanium said, adding that the Delhi High Court had said that LG in Delhi has more powers than the President or the governor of any state.

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