The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government on Wednesday claimed the Supreme Court’s judgement that the lieutenant governor is bound by the advice of the elected government was a victory for democracy.

“A big victory for the people of Delhi... a big victory for democracy,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a tweet soon after the judgement was out. He added that he has called a meeting of all Cabinet ministers at 4 pm “to discuss critical projects of public importance which were blocked so far”.

Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia called the verdict a “landmark judgement” and said the Delhi government will no longer have to send its files to the lieutenant governor for approval.

“Now work will not be stalled,” Sisodia was quoted as saying by ANI. “I thank the SC, it’s a big win for democracy.” The elected government of Delhi will be able to decide on postings and transfers of officers, he added in a tweet.

“Police, public order and land are only the three reserved subjects. The Centre had illegally made services a reserved subject,” The Times of India quoted Sisodia as saying. “Now, Delhi government does not need to send files to LG. Services is now a subject with AAP government. The powers of the AAP government have been restored.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said the lieutenant governor cannot act in a mechanical manner and added that the Centre cannot “usurp powers on areas within the dominion of states”, while noting that Delhi does not have the status of a state. The lieutenant governor must work harmoniously with the elected government, he said.

Justice DY Chandrachud said the real authority to make decisions lies with the elected government.

‘Not a vindication’: Reactions to the ruling

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the verdict was not a vindication for the AAP since the ruling that the lieutenant governor is bound by the government’s advice “has always been so”, PTI reported. She said the ruling was very clear. “As per Article 239AA of the Constitution, Delhi is not a state, it is a Union territory,” Dikshit said. “If Delhi government and LG don’t work together, then Delhi will face problems.”

She added: “Congress ruled Delhi for 15 years, no conflict took place then.”

Former Union minister P Chidambaram said the verdict was a “thumping victory for representative democracy”. Chidambaram, who represented the Delhi government as counsel in the court, said the controversy was “manufactured by the BJP and the central government” and questioned why Baijal allowed himself to be “misdirected in law by his political masters”.

Indira Jaising, one of the lawyers who argued for the Aam Aadmi Party government in the Supreme Court, said the “victory” belonged to the people of Delhi and the spirit of the Constitution. “This is how a true Constitutional Court functions,” she wrote on Twitter. “All five of them rose to the occasion and reinforced our democratic rights. People are sovereign, they said. I hope every politician in the country reads all three judgements.”

Had it come two weeks earlier, Jaising added, the chief minister of Delhi would not have had to sleep on a sofa at the lieutenant general’s residence waiting for an appointment, referring to Kejriwal and his Cabinet ministers’ sit-in protest at Anil Baijal’s residence.

Former Attorney General of India Soli Sorabjee said it was a good verdict. “The lieutenant governor and Delhi government have to work harmoniously, cannot always have confrontation,” he was quoted as saying by ANI. “Daily squabbles are not good for democracy. I welcome the decision.”

Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said the Supreme Court’s order was “totally applicable” to his state too. He said he hoped that Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi would “change her ways”, PTI reported. “Whoever functions contrary to the judgment now delivered by the top court would face serious action,” Narayanasamy told reporters. “I myself would file contempt petition against those failing to act in consonance with the Supreme Court verdict.”