The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that the lieutenant governor of Delhi had the power to block decisions of the state government but such disagreements must not be trivial or contrived, The Hindu reported.
The aid and advice of the government should be accepted and respected unless there is an abuse of authority, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said. However, the court also said that the position of Delhi is different from other states, and the government must inform the lieutenant governor about policy decisions, PTI reported.
A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Misra, was hearing for the second day the Aam Aadmi Party government’s allegations that the Centre, through the lieutenant governor, had paralysed its executive functions. The party also alleged that no bureaucrat was obeying the orders of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The hearing will continue on Wednesday.
“The intervention [of the L-G] does not mean he will have confrontation,” Misra said. “It should be fact- and issue-oriented on objective parameters. Actually it has to be participative governance,” he said, according to Live Law. “There has to be some kind of harmony. Yes, there cannot be day-to-day interference by the governor. Even if there is interference or discussion some sanctity has to be added...it should be value oriented...”
On the first day of hearing on Thursday, the bench had said the lieutenant governor should not sit on files for too long and must exercise the power bestowed upon him within reasonable time.
Delhi government vs the LG
On August 4, the Delhi High Court had ruled that the lieutenant governor was the administrative head of the National Capital Region and rejected the AAP government’s contention that the person holding the post needed to act on the advice of the Delhi Cabinet. In its 194-page verdict, the High Court further said that the Union Territory’s Council of Ministers must confer with the lieutenant governor before making key decisions.
The Kejriwal government had moved the High Court after the Home Affairs Ministry passed a notification on May 21, giving “unprecedented powers” on matters such as public order, police and services to Najeeb Jung who was then Delhi’s lieutenant governor.