New Delhi: Supreme Court, has issued a notice to the central government in a hearing on September 9, on the seven appeals filed by Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Government against the Delhi High Court verdict which said that the Lieutenant Governer is the administrative head of the National Capital Territory (NCT).
A bench of justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana also refused to stay the operation of the August 4 verdict of the High Court and said it would rather list the matter for final hearing on November 15. The bench, which granted six weeks time to the Centre for filing its response to the appeals, also did not agree with the contention that the decision of the Lieutenant Governor to set up a three-member committee to look into the past decisions of the Delhi government should be stayed.
The bench said it may consider referring the petitions to a larger bench after hearing the arguments. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, raised various preliminary objections and sought dismissal of the appeals on various grounds, including that instead of a secretary, the deputy chief minister has sworn an affidavit in support of the petition.
“This petition deserves to be dismissed on this ground alone,” Rohatgi said, adding that moreover a nine-judge Constitution bench judgement has already dealt with this issue by holding that Delhi is a Union Territory.
Senior advocate K. K. Venugopal, who represented the Delhi government, said the minister had to swear the affidavit because of the effect of the judgement that there has to be a prior consent of the LG in every decision of the government. “No public servant is willing to sign the papers,” he said. The Delhi government had sought an urgent hearing on the appeals after which it was fixed for today.
On September 2, the Delhi government had informed the Supreme Court that it has filed six different pleas challenging the Delhi HC order and withdrawn its civil suit seeking declaration of the national capital as a full State. The court had allowed the AAP government to withdraw the civil suit and given it the liberty to raise the issues raised in the Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) it has filed.