Read Time: 07 minutes
Delhi government has filed a plea in the Supreme Court against the National Green Tribunal's February 16 order, which appointed a high-level committee headed by Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena for handling solid waste management in the national capital.
Amid its ongoing battle with the Centre, the Delhi government has filed a plea in the Supreme Court against the National Green Tribunal's February 16 order, which appointed a high-level committee headed by Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena for handling solid waste management in the national capital.
The plea contended that the NGT's order completely side-lined the elected government.
It claimed the Delhi government is aggrieved by the executive powers conferred on the LG through the order over areas in which only the elected government of Delhi enjoyed competence.
“The NGT has appointed the Lt Governor as the chairman of a committee when there was absolutely no statutory or constitutional power conferred upon him to chair such a committee,” it said.
The Delhi government contended that the effect of the order is to bypass the elected government completely and hand over the power with regard to the management of solid waste to the Lt Governor of Delhi, Civil servants in the NCT of Delhi and the central government against the constitutional scheme.
According to the order, a committee comprised the Chief Secretary, of Delhi, Secretaries of the Irrigation, Forest and Environment, Agriculture, and Finance Departments, Government of Delhi, the Chief Executive Officer, of Delhi Jal Board, Vice Chairman of the Delhi Development Authority, Secretary or his nominee in Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, D G Forest or his nominee, MoEF&CC, Government of India, Secretary, MoJS or his nominee, MoEF&CC, DG NMCG and Chairman CPCB.
The plea contended that the executive power for matters relating to local governance lay exclusively with the state government (in the present case, GNCTD) under the Constitution, except to the extent limited by an express Parliamentary law.
"Apart from bylaws which have been enacted by the Ministry of Urban Development, GNCTD for separate Municipal corporations, Solid Waste Management is also governed by the Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2016 and Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016 which were formulated under Section 6(1) of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 which too do not confer any power upon the Lt Governor of Delhi to chair such a high-level committee," the plea said.
Notably, the Delhi government had also filed a separate plea challenging another order of the NGT naming the LG as the chairperson of a High-Level Committee (HLC) on Yamuna pollution.
The plea said public health, sanitation and Solid Waste Management” is referable to Entry 6 of Schedule 12 which gives power to the local government i.e. the municipal corporations in Delhi to deal with issues concerning the same. Further, the functioning of the Municipal Corporation is referable to Entry 5 of the State list which is not an excepted subject and is therefore within the executive ken of the elected government of Delhi.
"Under the scheme of administration in Delhi and the scheme of Article 239AA of the Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is only a nominal figurehead except in areas of police, order and land where he exercises his powers in lieu of the power designated by the Constitution," it maintained.
While the appellant acknowledged that a coordinated approach is necessary for solid waste management, the formulation of language in the NGT's order completely side-lined the elected government, it claimed.
The plea said, "The effect of the NGT’s orders cannot be to confer executive powers to an authority that cannot, under the constitutional scheme, be conferred on it and is instead vested with the elected government".
Please Login or Register