Lieutenant Governor is ‘administrative head’ of National Capital Territory, rules Delhi HC
In a major setback for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the High Court today said that the Lieutenant Governor is the “administrative head of National Capital Territory (NCT)” and “notifications must be issued after consulting him”.
A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, in its 194-page judgement, said the AAP government's contention that the LG is bound to act on the aid and advice of Council of Ministers was "without substance and cannot be accepted".
“AAP government’s contention that LG is bound to act on advice of Council of Ministers is without any substance and cannot be accepted,” it said.
The bench also dismissed AAP government's plea challenging the Centre's May 21, 2015, notification giving absolute powers to LG in appointing bureaucrats in the national capital.
“Service matters fall outside the jurisdiction of Delhi Legislative Assembly and LG exercising the powers is not unconstitutional,” it said.
The court also quashed several notifications issued by Kejriwal after returning to power last year, saying they were illegal as they were issued without concurrence of LG.
The court said that the May 21, 2015, notification of Centre barring ACB from proceeding against Central government employees is neither illegal nor unsustainable. It also declared as illegal AAP government's order appointing Commission of Inquiry in the CNG fitness scam and DDCA scam since the same was issued without concurrence of LG.
The AAP government had on May 28 last year moved the High Court, a day after the Centre had approached the Supreme Court challenging an order of the High Court which had termed the MHA’s notification as ‘suspect’ barring the city government’s ACB from acting against its officers in criminal offences.
After pronouncement of the verdict, the Delhi government's senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra said they will immediately file a Special Leave Petition against the judgement in the Supreme Court.