Supreme Court rules in favour of Delhi Govt in tussle with Centre

Tags: State News

The Supreme Court on May 11 ruled unanimously in favour of the Delhi government on the issue of who controls the bureaucracy in the national capital.

An overview of the news

  • A 5-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud held that in Delhi (National Capital Territory), all powers relating to services and administration, except in areas outside the legislative powers, would rest with the elected government.

  • However, the authority of police, public order and land will remain with the Centre.

  • The court said that this decision would uphold the basic structure of federalism and democracy.

Background of the case

  • A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court was hearing the dispute between theDelhi government and the central government.

  • The dispute was over matters relating totransfer and control over the overall functioning of administrative services in the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.

  • Administrative services include appointments and transfers in the national capital.

  • In 2018, a five-judge constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra laid down broad principles governing relations between Delhi and the Center and ruled in favor of the Delhi government on most issues.

  • However, the important issue of service was left unresolved after two judges gave a split verdict in 2019.

  • After this the issue was referred to a three-judge constitution bench and then to a five-judge constitution bench, which has now settled it.

Highlights of the court verdict

  • A five-judge Supreme Court bench unanimously ruled in favor of the Delhi governmenton the issue of who has control over the bureaucracy in the national capital.

  • Earlier, the bureaucracy was controlled by the Lieutenant Governor, the Chief Secretary and the Secretary of the Services Department.

  • The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the LG cannot have comprehensive administrative powers on all issues related to Delhi.

  • The LG's powers do not give him the right to interfere with the legislative powers of the Delhi Assembly and the elected government.

  • The posting and transfer of officers will be with the Delhi government.

  • Theelected government should have the right to administrative service.

  • The Lieutenant Governor will have to follow the advice of the government.

  • The authority of police, public order and land will remain with the center.

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