New Delhi: The Delhi government on Wednesday once again urged the Supreme Court for an early listing of its petition challenging the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, which enhances the powers of Lieutenant Governor over the elected government. The Bench said it will look into listing the case.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the Delhi government mentioned the matter for an early hearing before the Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana.
Following this, the CJI said, "A day before, a lawyer mentioned the Delhi-Centre case. Everyday we have to hear Delhi government matters only?" Singhvi said both the matters are different which was being mentioned by him for urgent hearing, from the other one which was mentioned on Tuesday by senior advocate Rahul Mehra.
Singhvi said, "The Act is contrary to the Constitution Bench judgment of the Supreme Court and against Article 239AA (which deals with the status of Delhi) under the Constitution." The GNCTD (Amendment) Act was passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on March 22 and March 24 this year respectively and it has changed four provisions of the National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991.
The amended Act states that the expression 'Delhi Government' referred to in any law to be made by the Union Territory's Legislative Assembly shall mean the Lieutenant Governor.
The Aam Aadmi Party government in its plea before the top court said that the extra power given to the Lieutenant Governor has made governance difficult. The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in 2018 held that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is bound by the "aid and advice" of the elected government and both have to work harmoniously with each other. It had noted that there is no room for anarchy or absolutism in a democracy.
It had concluded that there is no independent authority with the Lieutenant Governor to take decisions except in matters under Article 239 or those outside the purview of the National Capital Territory (NCT) government.