The Supreme Court on Friday referred to the Constitution bench the petition filed by Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), for holding fresh elections in Delhi after dissolving the Assembly.
A bench led by Chief Justice R M Lodha, however, made it clear that pendency of the case will not prevent Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor from ordering fresh polls.
The court noted that various issues raised by the AAP in its petition related to constitutional matters, some of which had been discussed in previous judgments by other Constitution benches. It, therefore, said it would be proper in these circumstances to refer the matter to a larger bench so that constitutional issues could be adjudicated in accordance with the law.
The AAP claimed that any delay in ordering fresh polls would deprive the citizenry of their right to a government and would also encourage defection of MLAs. The Centre and BJP said the decision on fresh polls should be left to the L-G.
Kejriwal had resigned from the Delhi chief minister’s post on February 14 after being thwarted by the BJP and the Congress from introducing the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly.
President’s rule was imposed in the capital after his resignation, and the Assembly was placed in suspended animation. The AAP had a day ago submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee, urging him to prevail upon the Centre to dissolve the Delhi Assembly and order fresh polls. It also alleged that the BJP was trying to poach its MLAs to muster the numbers to form a government in the capital.