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Supreme Court Says the Buck Stops at L-G's Door, Kejriwal Claims 'Big Victory'

L-G cannot substitute an elected government, the Bench underscored multiple times in its three concurrent judgments, authored by the CJI and Justices Chandrachud and Bhushan.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:July 4, 2018, 8:32 PM IST
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New Delhi: The relevance of the Wednesday's Constitution Bench verdict on the division of powers between the Lieutenant Governor and an elected government in Delhi lies in its spirit and in substance, not in instances.

The five-judge bench judgment by the Supreme Court is immensely significant because it has for the first time led to interpretation of a Constitutional provision that lies at the core of governance of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

It was the first occasion also when the Supreme Court authoritatively ruled upon the manner in which the Constitution prefers the three institutions - Centre, L-G and Delhi government - to coexist harmoniously to serve the interest of the people.

The unanimous judgment by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, emphasised elected government has to be given authority to function because the democracy, by design, guaranteed an elected government to represent will of the people - who are sovereign.

The Constitution Bench verdict, interestingly, has shifted the burden on the L-G when the latter chooses to interdict the will of the elected government.

The judicial fetter has been evolved on the exercise of the power of the L-G, who cannot now act only on his whims, bypassing the representative government which is responsible to the sovereign in the democracy.

L-G may act, may differ but he must be mindful that his resistance is not on trivial issues and that he is acting either in the larger interest of the nation or strictly under the powers vested with his office under the Constitution.

The verdict also laid down authoritatively that L-G is bound by aid and advise of the council of ministers and that he cannot act as an independendt authority when there exists a legislature by virtue of a special Consitutional provision.

L-G cannot substitute an elected government, the Bench underscored multiple times in its three concurrent judgments, authored by the CJI and Justices Chandrachud and Bhushan.

The Constitution Bench verdict on Wednesday leads to rendering more responsibility on the office of the L-G, to ensure the Central government's representative in the NCT must not bring the governance in Delhi to a standstill.

So, the buck stops at the L-G now, whose actions will be under a more stringent scrutiny and his decisions must not fall foul with the spirit and the substance of today's verdict.

Reacting to the development in court, Kejriwal said "it was a big victory for the people of Delhi".




| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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