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Power tussle between Delhi vs Centre: SC reserves order

The Supreme Court today also said that the Delhi Government’s petition challenging the GNCTD Amendment Act 2021, will also be listed along with the main matter.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court today reserved its orders on the Centre’s petition to refer to a larger Constitution Bench the dispute involving between the Delhi Government and Lieutenant Governor (LG) regarding the control over services.

“We are reserving our Orders on the issue,” the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana and also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, today said.

The Supreme Court today reserved its order after completed its hearing from the petitioner, Delhi Government, Respondent, Union of India (UOI).

The Supreme Court today also said that the Delhi Government’s petition challenging the GNCTD Amendment Act 2021, will also be listed along with the main matter.

Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior lawyer for the Delhi government, opposed the plea of the Centre for sending the matter to a larger Constitution Bench.

Dr Singhvi said that once the  constitution bench already decided the matter, there’s no point in asking again and again to ask to refer the matter to a larger Constitution Bench.

“This court isn’t here to refer every time slightest thing is pointed out. How does this matter if there’s 3 or 5 judges’ isn’t the question. It’s not about why not, its about why,” Dr Singhvi told the Supreme Court.

Dr Singhvi said that your lordships don’t have the luxury of time etc. Does Your lordships have time to have constitution bench on issues nuanced by earlier constitution bench. Hearing us and referring it as government is asking for it is no reason to refer.

The Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, senior lawyer appearing for the Central government, had earlier told the Supreme Court that the dispute involving powers of the Delhi government against the Centre, has to be referred to a larger bench and they felt that the constitution bench didn’t go into the entire issue.

“In my submission it needs to be referred to a larger bench, the issue involving the powers between Delhi government and Centre,” the SG Mehta, told the Supreme Court bench, headed by the CJI Ramana.

Mehta  said that the Constitution bench judgment was a concurring judgment but the 3 judges didn’t take into consideration the entire aspect in the case.

The Supreme Court was hearing the dispute between the Delhi Government and the Central Government regarding the control over administrative services in Delhi.

Delhi government has moved the Supreme Court last year, seeking quashing of four amended sections of the ‘Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act’ and 13 Rules of the ‘Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1993’.

The Delhi government, in its petition filed before the Supreme Court, contended that the amended Act violates the “basic structure of the Constitution” and that the Centre, through the amendments, has given more power to the Lieutenant-Governor than the elected government of Delhi.