Thursday, August 4, 2016

LG administrative head of National Capital Territory, rules Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Thursday upheld Article 230 of the Constitution stating that the Lieutenant Governor remains the administrative head of the National Capital Territory, concluding the legal tussle between Delhi's AAP government and Lt governor Najeeb Jung.
A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath ruled that Delhi government notifications must be issued after consulting the LG.
"Policy direction can't be issued without communicating the to Lt Governor," the bench said.
The court said that it is constitutionally correct that Anti-Corruption Branch cannot initiate investigation against central government officials.
The court's judgement came on nine different petitions arising out of the spat between the LG and Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party government over the power to appoint bureaucrats in the national capital and other issues.
Delhi High Court said that  AAP govt's contention that LG is bound to act on advice of Council of Ministers like in other states in India is without any substance and cannot be accepted, stating the LG of the National Capital Territory is not bound by the aid and advice of Council of Ministers.
Ruling on the AAP's plea alleging undue interference from the Centre and the Lt Governer, the court said that all service matters fall outside the jurisdiction of Delhi Legislative Assembly and if the Lt Governor  chooses to exercise his powers then it cannot be deemed unconstitutional.
The ruling is being seen as a major setback for the AAP government who have time and again been in loggerheads with the Centre over who wields more power in the National Capital Territory.
After the court ruling, the 21 May, 2015, notification of Centre barring ACB from proceeding against central government employees is neither illegal nor unsustainable.  Similarly, the high court ruling automatically made defunct the Commission of Inquiry in the CNG fitness scam and DDCA scam since the same was issued without concurrence of LG.
Meanwhile, reacting to the huge setback in what was more a political battle, AAP has decided to move the Supreme Court. AAP government's counsel has said that hey will immediately file an appeal against the verdict in the apex court

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