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LG has statutory power to disagree with govt: Centre to Delhi HC

The submissions were made by the ASG during the final hearing on the issue of interpretation of Article 239A regarding the powers of the LG on the governance of Delhi.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: February 4, 2016 9:37:50 pm
New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung at a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo (PTI2_3_2016_000175B) *** Local Caption *** Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung at a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Source: PTI)

The Centre on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that the LG has the statutory power to disagree with the city government and when a decision is taken in his name, files have to be shown to him.

Continuing his argument before the bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said theLieutenant Governor (LG) is different from Governor because the former can disagree with the council of ministers.

“There cannot be a situation that a decision is taken in the name of LG, but you (GNCTD) will not show him the files.

For normal smooth governance, LG agrees with the council of ministers and even if he has to disagree, the concerned paper and file has to be on his table.

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“LG is different from Governor because he can disagree with council of ministers. And the extent of disagreement can be on any matter or on all matters. These are the statuatory powers given to LG,” Jain said.

The submissions were made by the ASG during the final hearing on the issue of interpretation of Article 239A regarding the powers of the LG on the governance of Delhi.

A total of eleven cases arising out of the spat between the LG and the Delhi government, are being heard together by the bench headed by the Chief Justice.

He further said that “though we may say NCT or GNCTD, but still Delhi is not a full-fledged state as it is a different
kind of state or rather a Union Territory (UT).”

“There are several UTs but all UTs are not alike. Laws on the consitutional position can be different in various UTs. Article 239AA of the constitution envisages a legislature for a UT but not all UTs. Like Andaman and Nicobar which does not have a legislature,” he said.

The ASG said that it cannot be claimed by any legislature, legislative body or any government that the Centre has a grudge against it or has taken its power.

“The basic character of Delhi remains unaltered as Union Territory even today. As far as powers of Parliament for
making laws for UTs are concerned, it is not a prisoner to any list whether it is State list, Union list or Concurrent list,” he said.

He said the UT of Delhi was “a class in itself” but certainly it is not a state and even today Delhi is called a NCT but actually it is a UT, as per Article 246 of the Constitution.

The ASG’s arguments remained inconclusive and would continue on February 8.

On January 27, the Centre had told the court that Delhi remained in its control as it was not a full-fledged state.

The Delhi government on May 28 last year, had approached the high court challenging the Centre’s notification of May 21 last year, giving the LG absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats in the city.

Along with this notification, Delhi government had also challenged the July 23, 2014 notification of the Centre which
limited the Anti Corruption Branch’s jurisdiction to Delhi government officials only.

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