Delhi: In a key judgement, the Supreme Court on Friday (May 6) referred to a Constitution Bench on matters pertaining to the interpretation of Article 239AA on the powers of the Delhi Government, the centre and the Lt Governor.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli ordered: “We have perused rival contentions, the main issue is an interpretation of Article 239AA. It appears all the issues have been elaborately dealt with. We don’t want to revisit the issues settled by the previous Constitution Bench. On the aspect of services, we deem it appropriate to refer it to a Constitution Bench.”
In fact, the apex Court had hinted that the matter would be referred to a larger bench when it reserved its verdict on the issue last week.
On behalf of the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had also maintained that since administrative control over services in the Union Territory under Article 239AA involves a substantial question of law, the matter should be referred to a larger bench.
The Supreme Court, on April 14, 2019, pronounced its verdict on various individual aspects relating to the tussle between the Delhi government and the Lt Governor.
The case relates to the Delhi government’s argument that the Central government should include the elected government of Delhi from exercising any administrative control over important bureaucrats.
The officers actually continue to act on the orders of the Centre through the Lieutenant Governor (LG).
Last week, the Solicitor General had told the Supreme Court that the centre ‘needs to have control’ over administrative services in Delhi as it is the national capital and the face of the country.
Mehta also has said that the model of governance of the NCT of Delhi would invariably require the Union government to play a central role, even if there is a legislative assembly.
He had clarified that it was not meant to be about any particular political party.