The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party led-Delhi government and said that the Lieutenant Governor does not have independent decision-making powers, and is bound to act on the aid and advice by its Council of Ministers.
The judgement pronounced in the court by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, who was heading a five-judge Constitution bench, also held that the LG cannot act as an “obstructionist”. The LG is also bound to send files to the President in case of differences of opinion, in exceptional matters.
The apex court added that the LG and the Delhi government have to work harmoniously.
The LG must realise that it is the Council of Ministers, who are answerable to the people and he cannot stall every decision of the National Capital Territory (NCT) government, the bench said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter and referring to the Supreme Court’s verdict said that it is a major victory for the people of Delhi.
“A big victory for the people of Delhi…a big victory for democracy,” he tweeted.
A big victory for the people of Delhi…a big victory for democracy…
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 4, 2018
The decision is a major victory for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP government which has been in a constant tug of war with LG Anil Baijal over the power wielded by the two branches of the executive.
The Supreme Court said that except for three issues – land, police and public order – the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern on other issues.
The LG needs to work harmoniously with the Council of Ministers and an attempt should be made to settle the difference of opinion with discussions, the apex court said.
(With inputs from agencies)