Delhi-Centre tussle: AAP government moves SC against HC verdict


AAP government today moved the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court ruling that the national capital was a union territory (UT) and the Lieutenant Governor (LG) its administrative head.

“We have filed Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court today. We have taken numerous grounds challenging the entire judgement of the Delhi High Court as it was unconstitutional. We have in the Supreme Court challenged each and every finding of the high court judgement,” Delhi government senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra said.

He said the appeal has questioned all findings arrived at by the high court including that the LG is the head as Delhi is a UT.

It has also been contended as to why the high court was wrong in not accepting AAP government’s contention that the LG is bound to act only on the aid and advice of Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers with regard to making laws by the Legislative Assembly under the Article 239AA, Mehra said.

The high court had also held that service matters fell outside the purview of the Delhi government and the Centre’s May 21, 2015 notification barring the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) from proceeding against employees of the Centre was “neither illegal nor unconstitutional”.

The verdict had come on a batch of petitions, including those filed by the BJP-led Centre and Delhi government, on the issues relating to exercise of legislative powers and the executive control in the administration of National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The high court had dismissed the AAP government’s plea to quash July 23, 2014 notification, issued by MHA, at a time when Delhi did not have an elected government and was under direct rule of the Centre, restricting the executive power of GNCTD, acting through ACB, to investigate officers and employees of the city government only.

The Delhi government on May 28 last year had moved the high court, a day after the Centre had approached the Supreme Court challenging a high court order which had termed as “suspect” the Union Home Ministry’s notification barring the city government’s ACB from acting against its officers in criminal offences.

The Delhi government had argued before the high court that in a democratic set up, there cannot be two reporting authorities — the LG and the Chief Minister.