NEW DELHI: With the High Court ruling against it in the turf battle with Delhi Lt Governor, AAP government today said it will challenge the order in the Supreme Court and questioned why the Constitution was amended to have a legislative assembly if the city was to be run by the LG.
"We respectfully disagree with the High Court verdict," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, adding there was a "big difference" between any other Union Territory and the national capital and alleged that on the "pretext of rules", various decisions aimed at curbing corruption have been stalled.
"The High Court says Delhi is merely an Union Territory.
If as per Constitution Delhi is only an UT, then why was it amended to make Delhi an UT with legislature.
"If Delhi was to be run by the Lt Governor, then why was the Constitution amended to have state assembly. Why provision was made to have an elected government. We were targeted as we tried to rid the city of corruption," he said addressing a press conference after the High Court today ruled that Governor is the administrative head of Delhi and that the national capital remains a Union Territory.
Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain said city government will move the Supreme Court against the HC verdict.
"Several acts of the Parliament relating to Delhi have defined both the Lt Governor and the Government of NCT as different entities. So, if Constitution had considered Delhi a mere UT, the city would have functioned like Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Andamans. But it is not so," he said.
Sisodia said people of Delhi had brought AAP to power with a historic mandate hoping that that corruption will "end" in all spheres of governance and when AAP started to fulfil people's aspirations, the efforts to curtail "rights of a democratically elected government" had started.
"When we started fixing the issue of corruption, caught corrupt policemen, the crisis began there. They felt if the government continues to work like this, the business of transfer-postings will shut down and corruption will end. They could not digest it and started curtailing rights of a democratically elected government.
"The Anti-Corruption Branch was part of Delhi Government since 1993. But the day the ACB caught a policeman accepting bribe, it was brought under the Centre. The services department too was taken away from Delhi Government," Sisodia said.
We want to help Delhi government, says Jung after HC judgement
Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday said the High Court judgement confirming his primacy over the Delhi government was not about anyone's triumph or defeat.
"It's just about the validation of the Constitution by the court, and not about anyone's victory," Jung told media here.
Denying the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's allegation that the LG Office was working against it, Jung said: "We want to help the elected government without interfering in its functioning. We will continue to extend constitutional support to the government."
He read out the oath he took when sworn in as Delhi L-G, and said: "The Lt. Governor takes the oath to follow the Constitution of India. I followed it too."
In a significant remark, Jung said his office would review all decisions and orders taken by the Delhi government in the last one-and-half years.
As for Delhi government's charge that he (Jung) worked at the behest of the central government, the Lt. Governor said he was "not ashamed" of reporting to the Centre.
"I was appointed by the President (of India); I report to the central government. Why should I be ashamed of it? But we will have to confine ourselves within the constitutional framework," he said.
The Delhi High Court on Thursday said the Lt. Governor is not bound by the aid and advice of the Delhi government's Council of Ministers. It further added that the Delhi government notifications must be issued after consulting the L-G.
Meanwhile, Jung said that an order by a sub-divisional magistrate to ban protests outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence here was invalid.
"The SDM has no authority to give such orders," he said.
(Inputs from PTI/ANI)