NEW DELHI: On Thursday in a landmark decision, the Delhi high court ruled that Delhi is a Union territory regardless of presence of an elected administration, and primacy in administering its affairs rests with the lieutenant governor and by extension. The decision deals a body blow to the Arvind Kejriwal government as it gives the LG concluding word as the superintendent in charge of the city, relegating the role of the CM and his council of ministers to just "aiding and advising" Najeeb Jung in supremacy.
The AAP administration conveyed that, it would appeal alongside the ruling in Supreme Court. The decision makes most of Kejriwal's big ticket declarations illegal, ranging from commissions of inquiry into CNG and DDCA 'scams', circle rate revision, nominating directors to discoms and meeting of bureaucrats. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath sketch the constitutional understanding of administering Delhi by interpreting Articles 239 and 239AA, the NCT Act of 1991 and transaction of business rules for Delhi. It held that "concurrence of LG in administrative issues is compulsory".
It conveyed that the Constitution provided for separation of powers flanked by the Centre and the states and according to Part VIII of the statute book, which deals with the powers for administration of Union territories, UTs will be governed by the President acting through an administrator. HC agreed with the Centre's stand, argued by ASG Sanjay Jain, that no order can be materialed by CM Kejriwal or his ministers without LG's endorsement and every conclusion must be routed through him, even if these relate to areas where exclusive jurisdiction of Delhi Assembly exists to frame laws.