Constitution bench to hear individual pleas on old currency, says SC

by Ray Hunter November 4, 2017, 0:22
Constitution bench to hear individual pleas on old currency, says SC

The daylong hearing saw judges questioning senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the city's state ruling Aam Aadmi Party, who argued that the Lt. Governor was exercising his powers in a manner to stultify the functioning of a democratically-elected government.

The constitution bench is hearing Delhi government's appeal challenging the Delhi High Court verdict holding that the Lt. Governor had the primacy over the elected government in administration of the national capital.

The Supreme Court on Thursday observed that there were inherent limitations on the powers of the Delhi government as laid down by the Constitution. The court said the matter will now be heard by a five-judge Constitution bench.

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He told a bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan that their plea challenges the Delhi High Court order of August 4, last year, by which it has said that LG is the administrative head of Delhi, which is also a union territory.

Delhi has a unique position under the Indian Constitution, with its own state assembly and an administrator in the form of an L-G. Subramanium also sought to know if this "is contemplated under Article 239AA". The L-G must exercise his functions with the aid and advice of the council of ministers, which has a collective responsibility and accountability to the people.

It had said that the special constitutional provision Article 239AA dealing with Delhi does not "dilute" the effect of Article 239 which relates to the union territory and hence, the concurrence of the LG in administrative issues was "mandatory". However, the LG can not hold any file for more than a reasonable period of time.

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Sensing where the bench was driving at, Subramanium said that the Delhi government too was raising its resources.

As for the contention that the L-G was exceeding his powers, the court told the AAP government to spell out the specifics to enable the court to assess its points. SC said, the LG will be the administrative head and will not be bound to advise of the council of ministers.

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