L-G Not Boss, Real Power With Elected Govt.- SC Verdict On Delhi’s Governance Status

The Supreme Court ruled out the verdict in a long-running power fight between the Delhi government headed by Arvind Kejriwal and the Lt Governor Anil Baijal over who’s the boss in national capital. The court specifying on the roles stated that the Lieutenant Governor does not have independent decision-making powers in Delhi and the real power must lie with the elected government. “The states should enjoy freedom without unsolicited interference from the centre, popular will cannot be allowed to lose its purpose,” the court said.

The L-G must not be obstructionist.

“There is no room for absolutism and there is no room for anarchism also,” the court said.

On the clear declaration by the court, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “A big victory for people of Delhi”.

Here are the 10 latest developments:

  • “The cabinet must convey all decisions to the Lieutenant Governor but his concurrence is not required in all matters,” the court said, making it clear that the Lt Governor is not the boss.
  • The top court made it clear that except for anything related to land, police and public order, the Lt Governor has no independent decision-making powers under the constitution.
  • The Lt Governor is an administrator in a limited sense and is not the Governor. He is bound by the advice of cabinet advice in matters other than those exempted,” the court said.
  • Reading out the verdict, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said the Lt Governor needs to work harmoniously with the Delhi government.
  • In 2016, AAP went to the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order that the Lt Governor is the administrative boss of Delhi. The top court, disagreeing with the high court today, said the Lt Governor “should not act in a mechanical manner and stall decisions of the Delhi cabinet”.
  • Supreme Court’s landmark ruling comes after Mr Kejriwal spent nine days protesting in a visitors’ room at the Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s house to get his attention.
  • AAP wanted Mr Baijal to step in and end an officers’ boycott that started after Delhi’s top bureaucrat, Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, alleged in February that he had been attacked by AAP lawmakers at a late night meeting at Mr Kejriwal’s home.

After the officers agreed to talks, Mr Kejriwal ended the protest but started a signature campaign for full statehood for Delhi, a demand that was pushed by the BJP until it took power at the centre.

The tussle started months after the AAP swept to power in Delhi in 2015, winning 67 of 70 seats and reducing the BJP to only three. AAP alleges that the BJP-led central government has since been exacting revenge and using the Lt Governor to block every decision taken by the Kejriwal government.

Days after AAP came to power, the centre dropped a rule that required the Lt Governor to consult the elected government on every decision relating to police, public order and bureaucratic appointments.