Reacting to the Supreme Court judgment that the Delhi Lieutenant Governor was “bound by aid and advice” of the cabinet, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia explained the implications of the judgment: services would no longer be under the LG, allowing them to transfer officials and take disciplinary action against them and that the cabinet would not need the approval of the LG for its schemes.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the Lieutenant Governor of NCT of Delhi is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of the NCT government. The judgment was delivered by a Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. The Bench delivered three separate judgments – Justices Sikri and Khanwilkar concurred with the judgment of CJI Misra, while Justices Chandrachud and Bhushan wrote separate but concurring judgments.
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Sisodia cited the Supreme Court’s confirmation that the “LG is duty bound by the aid and advice” of the Cabinet and said that this meant that the government no longer need to send files for the LG’s approval. “This is good because the LG was slowing down development, stopping work because the LG was asking unnecessary questions.”
“The people of Delhi voted AAP, a new party and gave it 67 out of 70 seats. That was a historic day, as is today. The way that elected government was being stopped from working…the way wrong interpretation of the Constitution was utilized to stop development…that will stop now. The people of Delhi have been held supreme. We are reading the judgment but the SC has said that people of Delhi are supreme, power can’t be with one person and needs to be with the people of Delhi,” he said.
The “operative part”, Sisodia said was that the apex court had clarified that there were only three reserved subjects: police, public order and land. “There are no other reserved subjects. The Central government had made Services a reserved subject as well,” he said.
Three months after AAP formed the government in February 2015, the Centre issued a notification that “took away” Services from AAP government. This has been at the heart of tussle between Delhi’s bureaucrats and the government. “Sheila Dixit Govt had all control over her officers or employees, Kejriwal Govt was left with zero control,” explained AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj. This, AAP said, had also had the additional impact of slowing down schemes. “For instance, we had schools – but couldn’t hire teachers since it was a service matter,” said an AAP leader.