As politics has played out over the past couple of years in Delhi, where the Supreme Court held the L-G has clearly been given primacy under Article 239AA of the Constitution, forget collegiality even civility has sometimes been absent in the interactions between the duly elected State government led by Arvind Kejriwal and the Delhi L-G appointed by the President of India.
Senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium led the arguments for the Delhi Government and said that the governor has been deemed with limited power and that it should be given more power.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud said that besides raising their grievance, the petitioners could also assist the court in the adjudication of the challenge to the constitutional validity of the demonetisation decision.
The apex court on Thursday commenced a crucial hearing to determine whether the elected government or the Lieutenant Governor enjoys supremacy in administration of the Union Territory of Delhi, observing that the constitutional scheme was prima facie tilted in favour of LG. It would certainly help if the L-G were to go the extra mile in this regard because, naturally, any elected government and especially one with the kind of unprecedented mandate gained by AAP, would chaff at having to do so.
As for the contention that the L-G was exceeding his powers, the court told the AAP government to spell out the specifics to enable the court to assess its points. There were also some grey areas where the Delhi government had no footprints.
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.
"More than 1.14 lakh vacancies are there, but I can not fill it up and have to seek LG's permission".
According to the Newspaper, As a result, the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers is neutralised...
To this, the bench said there are three things - executive action, difference of opinion and validity of such opinion, which needs to be deliberated.
Considering the constant run-ins between the LG and the Chief Minister, the bench said the proviso given under Article 239AA (69 th Amendment Act of 1991) of the Constitution clarifies that the L-G's decision would prevail in the event of a dispute.