Delhi High Court on 4 August 2016 held that Lt. Governor is the administrative head of the National Capital Territory.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath dismissed AAP Government's plea challenging the Union Government’s 21 May 2015 notification giving absolute powers to LG in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital.
Major highlights of the Verdict
• The court said AAP government's contention that LG is bound to act on advice of Council of Ministers is without any substance and cannot be accepted.
• AAP Government had contended that the notification barring Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) from proceeding against Central Government employees is neither illegal nor unsustainable.
• Ruling that the Service matters were outside the jurisdiction of Delhi Legislative Assembly, the court said that LG exercising the powers is not unconstitutional.
• The court also held as illegal AAP government’s order appointing Commission of Inquiry in the CNG fitness scam and DDCA scam since the same was issued without concurrence of LG.
While delivering its judgment, the court referred the Constitutional Provisions mentioned under Article 239 and Article 239AA together with the provisions of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 and the Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993.
In consonance with the above, the Bench held that Article 239 of the Constitution “continues to be applicable to NCT of Delhi and insertion of Article 239AA by the Constitution (69th Amendment) Act, 1991 has not diluted the application of Article 239 in any manner.”
Besides, the court also dismissed a bunch of nine petitions centered on common issues relation to the exercise of legislative power and executive control in the administration of National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD).
Article 239 & 239A
AArticle 239 provides for appointment of an administrator by the President for administering a Union Territory.
On the other hand, Article 239AA provided for making Union territory of Delhi as the National Capital Territory (NCT) and a Legislative Assembly for the NCT for which seats shall be filled by members chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the NCT.
Delhi Governments Stand
After the verdict, the AAP government in a statement said it will challenge High Court order holding that the Lieutenant Governor is the administrative head of the National Capital Territory as it undermined the powers of the council of ministers given by the Constitution. They will challenge the verdict at the Supreme Court.
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When: 4 August 2016
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