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The Top Court has ruled that the legislative powers of the Delhi Government will prevail over Union Government in as much the control of administrative services is concerned
The Supreme Court on Thursday held that the Delhi Government (GNCTD) will have control over administration of services, except in those areas which are specifically excluded from its legislative domain.
Issues of governance concerning the national capital have been at odds between the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party led Delhi government ever since it assumed office in 2014. The top court reserved its verdict on January 18 this year.
A Constitution bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, Justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha held that the Lt. Governor will be bound by decisions of the council of ministers of ministers except in matters which are outside the cabinet's executive domain, i.e. police, public order and land.
The bench stated that Article 239AA 3(A) confers legislative power to GNCTD but not over all subjects and that the union's interests must be protected. Thus, a balance between both the federal polities is pertinent. Top Court has further held that the parliament has the power to legislate on any subject of GNCTD in any of the three lists of the Constitution, however, if there exists a repugnancy in law enacted by legislative assembly and union, the law enacted by assembly will be void.
On July 4, 2018, the Supreme Court had laid down the broad parameters for governance of the capital while interpreting Article 293AA of the Constitution. It had held that Delhi cannot be accorded the status of a state. While doing so, it clipped the powers of LG stating that he has to act on the aid and advice of the elected government.
On other aspects; the appeals were placed before a larger bench and in 2019, the top court gave a split verdict with Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan differing on the issue of 'services' under Schedule VII, List II, Entry 41.
On centre’s request, the issue was then referred to a larger bench.
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