‘LG created unelected machinery of governance, runs parallel to elected govt’, Delhi govt to SC

The Delhi government has told the Supreme Court that Lieutenant Governor (L-G) has de facto created an unelected machinery of governance that runs parallel to the elected government of NCT of Delhi and the L-G’s office has derailed the governance in the national capital.

In an affidavit before a constitution bench, which is hearing the power sharing between the Centre and the Delhi government, the Delhi government said: “First, the L-G has de facto created an unelected machinery of governance in the NCT that runs parallel to the elected government of NCT Delhi; second, the L-G has consistently stalled and impeded the functioning of the elected government of NCT of Delhi, by exercise of powers of veto and non-concurrence that do not constitutionally vest in him.”

Delhi deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the affidavit said that effecting a parallel machinery of governance by taking unilateral executive action amounts to direct and unconstitutional usurpation of the power of the council of ministers.

The affidavit said: “Regular interventions of the Lieutenant Governor have the effect of not just usurping the powers of the duly elected state government so as to not only upset the scheme of federalism and representative democracy, but also harmed public interests in sectors ranging from public health, education, environmental protection, to name a few.”

It further added that the unconstitutional and undemocratic encroachment of the powers of a duly elected government has made governance in Delhi challenging and unnecessarily difficult for the elected government, contrary to the intent and purpose of the Constitution (Sixty-Ninth Amendment) Act, 1991.

Targeting L-G V.K. Saxena, the affidavit said governance in Delhi has become extremely difficult for the government ever since the new L-G took over in May this year. Citing various instances, it added, “the Lieutenant Governor has severely interfered in the administration of the NCT of Delhi without referring the matter to the President of India, either by unilaterally conducting executive business himself or by stalling the executive decisions taken by the elected government”.

The cases in the apex court are — first, the tussle between the Centre and Delhi government over the control of bureaucrats; the second case is connected with the 2021 Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, which gives an upper hand to the L-G in the matters of administration of Delhi.

A Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud is hearing both cases. The cases will be taken up for hearing on November 24.

The latest development has come on the heels of the 2021-22 excise policy scam, which is being investigated by the CBI, where Sisodia has been named as an accused though he and the AAP have denied any role.




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