The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed an order of the National Green Tribunal appointing Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena chief of a committee to deal with the issue of pollution in Yamuna river, ANI reported.

The Aam Aadmi Party had moved the court seeking directions to set aside the tribunal’s January 9 order. In the petition, AAP had contended that the order amounted to sidelining the elected government through an “unelected figurehead” who is “bound to act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers”.

The Delhi government had argued that Saxena’s appointment was a “violation of the constitutional scheme of governance” and two Supreme Court orders.

“The NGT’s proposed remedial measures, such as utilising treated water for agriculture, horticulture, or industrial purposes, preventing waste discharge and dumping, protecting floodplain zones, maintaining dredging flow, implementing plantations, and desilting drains, require budgetary allocations that are approved by the legislative assembly,” the government submitted in a plea.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Tuesday told the court that governors cannot be appointed to head such a committee, The Deccan Herald reported.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and Manoj Misra agreed with his submission and observed that a domain expert could have been appointed in Saxena’s place.