The Union government told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that it needed to have power over transfers and postings of officials in Delhi as the city is the national capital, NDTV reported. The Centre added that it needed special powers in the Delhi administration.

The Centre made the statement in an affidavit filed in response to a petition by the Delhi government that questioned the Union government’s control over civil service personnel in the city. Laws on the administration of Delhi have been framed in order to avoid confrontation between the Centre and the Union Territory’s government, the affidavit stated.

“Delhi is the face of the nation,” the Centre told the court. “The world views India through Delhi.” It added that the laws on postings of officials in Delhi had been framed keeping in mind the city’s administration, and not any political party.

The Centre, however, alleged that in the past few years, there have been disruptions in the functioning of the National Capital Territory of Delhi as the lieutenant governor “is often kept in the dark” about administrative decisions, according to PTI.

The Aam Aadmi Party is in power in the Delhi government.

The Centre said that such disruptions were taking place despite the fact that the Delhi government was required to keep the lieutenant governor informed about its decisions even before the Government of NCT of Delhi Act had been amended.

In April last year, the Centre had notified the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, effectively making Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, the “government” in the city. President Ram Nath Kovind had given his assent to the controversial Bill on March 28, 2021 after it was cleared in Parliament.

The Opposition had alleged that the proposed reforms were against the federal structure of India’s democracy.

On Wednesday, the Centre told the court that the amendment had been introduced to give effect to Article 239AA of the Constitution, which pertains to the structure of governance in Delhi. The provision gives Delhi the special character of a Union Territory, with a Legislative Assembly that has a lieutenant governor as its administrative head.

The Centre demanded that the matter of control over administrative services in Delhi should be referred to a Constitution Bench for a “holistic interpretation”. However, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Delhi government, said that there was no need for the matter to be sent to a larger bench, according to NDTV.