Whether the Supreme Court Judgement (July 2018) can settle the political tussle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi? Examine. (250 words)
The Supreme Court’s July 2018 verdict on the power struggle between the Lt. Governor and elected government of Delhi has significant implications, as discussed below:
Background of the issue:
- Delhi has a special constitutional status under Article 239 AA, with an elected assembly and council of ministers.
- The Delhi HC had declared that the LG has complete control over all matters related to the government of Delhi, leading to conflicts between the LG and Delhi government.
- The Delhi government filed appeals against the HC verdict in the Supreme Court.
Key highlights of the verdict:
- The LG is bound by the aid and advice of the Delhi government, and has no independent decision-making powers.
- In case of conflict or dispute, the LG should refer the matter to the President, except in important disputes that impact the status of the national capital or the vital interests of the Centre.
- The Supreme Court followed the 1987 Balakrishnan Committee report to conclude that Delhi is not a state.
Significance of the verdict:
- Ends the long-standing tussle between LG and Delhi government, improving governance and efficiency.
- Clarifies that an elected government cannot be undermined by an unelected administrator.
- Restores the primary role played by the representative government in Delhi.
- Upholds the provisions of the Indian constitution with respect to executive and administrative powers of ministers of Delhi.
- Establishes constitutional morality and trust among high functionaries in the government.
- Sets a precedent to prevent any authoritarian and reckless use of power by constitutionally appointed authorities in the future.
However, it is important to note that the verdict does not address the larger issue of statehood for Delhi, which remains a demand of the Delhi government.