Delhi-Centre spat: Supreme Court may set up Constitution Bench

Delhi-Centre spat: Supreme Court may set up Constitution Bench

SAM Staff,

The Delhi government requested the Supreme Court on Monday to set up a five-judge Constitution Bench at the earliest to decide its pleas challenging the Delhi High Court verdict that the Lieutenant-Governor is the administrative head of the national capital territory.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and S.K. Kaul told senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the Delhi government, that it may consider setting up of the Bench soon, “possibly” after the summer vacation.

Mr. Subramaniam mentioned the matter before the Bench and said that the appeals have been referred to the CJI for setting up of a larger Bench to deal with various constitutional issues.

The apex court on February 15 referred to a Constitution Bench a batch of pleas filed by the AAP government against the high court verdict, which had held that Delhi is not a State and that the Lieutenant-Governor (LG) is its administrative head.

The top court had said that important questions of law and the Constitution are involved in the matter and it should be adjudicated upon by a Constitution Bench.

However, it did not frame questions to be deliberated upon by the Constitution Bench in the matter and had asked the Centre and the Delhi government to argue their case before the larger Bench.

The Delhi government on February 2 told the court that it has exclusive executive powers in relation to matters falling within the purview of the Legislative Assembly and neither the Centre nor the President or the LG can encroach upon these.