NEW DELHI: Dealing a heavy blow to the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government’s fight for complete statehood for Delhi, the High Court here on Thursday held that the National Capital Territory remains a Union Territory and that the Lieutenant Governor is its administrative head.
With this ruling, a series of moves made by the Delhi government, such as the setting up of commissions of inquiry into the CNG fitness scam, Delhi and District Cricket Association illegalities, policy directions to the Electricity Regulatory Commission for providing compensation to people for disruption in power supply and the transfer and posting of senior IAS officers were declared illegal by the court since they were made without the approval of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. The AAP government said it would challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini held that “the matters connected with services fall outside the purview of the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi. Therefore, the direction in the impugned notification [of the Centre] of February 2015, that the Lt. Governor of the NCT of Delhi shall in respect of matters be connected with ‘services’ exercise the powers and discharge the functions of the Central government to the extent delegated to him from time to time by the President is neither illegal nor unconstitutional.”
The bench did not accept the AAP’s contention that the LG is bound to act only on the aid and advice of the CM and his Council of Ministers with regard to making laws through the Legislative Assembly under Article 239AA, terming it as without substance.