SC judge recuses himself from hearing plea on Delhi-Centre row


Supreme Court judge, Justice L Nageswara Rao, on Tuesday recused himself from hearing Delhi government’s appeals against the High Court verdict which held that Lieutenant Governor was the administrative head whose prior consent is needed in all administrative decisions.

Justice Rao, who was part of the bench headed by Justice A K Sikri, said he cannot hear the case and posted the matter for further hearing on November 25.

Senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for Delhi government, said an application has been filed challenging the LG’s decision to scrap the appointment of lawyers for the AAP government.

He said this application should be listed urgently as the government was facing difficulties in the court.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said this matter will come under the pending appeals, as the decision of the Delhi High Court allowing the AAP Government to appoint prosecutors is also under challenge.

The bench, however, said that all interim applications will be take up together.

On September 9, the apex court had refused to grant an interim stay on the Delhi High Court’s August 4 verdict and sought response within six weeks from the Centre on seven appeals of AAP dispensation.

It had also declined to stay the decision of LG Najeeb Jung to set up a three-member committee to scrutinise over 400 files and past orders of the elected city government.

The court had said it was an important issue where a decision from the apex court was needed.

Earlier, the Delhi Government had sought an urgent hearing on the appeals after which it was fixed for today.

On September 2, the Delhi government had informed Supreme Court that it had filed seven different pleas challenging the Delhi HC order and withdrawn its civil suit seeking declaration of the national capital as a full State.

The high court had on August 4 held that Delhi will continue to remain a Union Territory under the Constitution with the LG as its administrative head.

It had also held that the special constitutional provision Article 239AA dealing with Delhi does not “dilute” the effect of Article 239 which relates to Union Territory and hence, concurrence of the LG in administrative issues was “mandatory”.

(With inputs from agencies)