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May consider fixing time for Delhi LG to clear files, indicates SC

04 November 2017

The apex court had on February 15 referred to a Constitution Bench the pleas filed by the AAP government against the high court verdict which had held that Delhi is not a state and the LG is its administrative head.

Summary: "Public order in Delhi, police or land can not be subject of executive power of government of Delhi", pointed out Justice Chandrachud.

The Constitution has given a face and identity to a government in Delhi after inclusion of Article 239AA and the executive decisions taken and implemented by it can not be reversed by the LG, it had contended.

Subramanium said that LG was taking several executive decisions and a harmonious interpretation of Article 239AA is required to fulfil the constitutional mandate for a democratically elected government in Delhi.

He said the challenge is to Article 239 AA by virtue of which special status is accorded to Delhi.

Justice Chandrachud said the L-G had to clear files within a reasonable period of time and if there is a delay, specify the reasons on file. Justice Chandrachud ruled that the LG can not sit on files for long and has to pass it forth to the President of India in case of a difference of opinion.

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Besides the Centre, Indian Radiological and Imaging Association, the association of radiologists in the country, had moved the apex court challenging the High Court's decision on the issue.

He said that proviso (4) in Article 239AA can not be used by the LG to frustrate the constitutional mandate of an elected government in Delhi.

According to the Newspaper, As a result, the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers is neutralised... Supposing there is a difference of opinion, you have to find what are differences of opinion.

"I want proviso (4) of Article 239AA to be given a meaning which is consistent with the scheme by which both can co-exist, as was the motive behind the amendment in Constitution", Subramanium said.

"We issue notice. Let the matter be listed for hearing on November 13", the bench said.

"I can show a series of orders of LG which are in excess of executive functions". "In the absence of a law, who has the power - you or the L-G?" asked the CJI, adding "the language of the Constitution says L-G's decision is final".

May consider fixing time for Delhi LG to clear files, indicates SC