Free Press Journal

HC asks Centre to apprise about case on Delhi statehood


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today asked the Centre to apprise it whether the 1991 Constitutional amendments, that made Delhi a partial state and empowered the President to appoint its Chief Minister, has been challenged in any court of law.

 The PIL, besides seeking quashing of Article 239 AA and 239 AB of the Constitution, also seeks complete statehood for the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw asked the Centre to take instruction and inform it whether any similar plea has been filed in any other court or not and it then fixed the PIL for further hearing on July 6.

The Articles 239AA and 239AB were inserted in the Constitution in 1991 and one of the provisions says the Chief Minister will be appointed by the President, the plea said.

“The Articles 239AA and 239AB are being ultra vires to the basic structure of Indian constitution because they create structures which is neither a State nor a UT (Union Territory) and go against the basic concept of federalism,” the PIL, filed by lawyer Gaurav Kumar Bansal, said.

The petition also said “while the Constitution talks only of states as the primary unit of the Union, with a small area being placed among the UTs which possibly were found not fit to be governed through separate states and/or needed to be governed directly by the Union, these Articles 239AA and 239AB create such constitutional entities which are neither states nor UTs and are hence a structure completely unknown in the Indian constitution”.

The PIL further states that the features of Articles 239AA and 239AB are creating a large number of complexities and inherent contradictions which go against the basic structure of federalism.

Article 239AB and Article 239AA are special provisions with respect to Delhi and deal with powers of legislatures, council of Ministers etc.