Mudda discusses SC judgement on Kejriwal-Baijjal controversy, speaker says right interpretation of constitution has cleared the atmosphere of suspense but increased the responsibility of the Delhi government
In a major development on the power struggle between Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government and the BJP-led Centre, the Supreme Court’s five-judge bench has unanimously held that Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. The LG cannot act as an “obstructionist” vis-a-vis the policies of the Delhi government, the court held.
The judgment was pronounced in court by a constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.
In three separate but concurring judgements, the bench said there is no independent authority vested with the LG to take independent decisions.
It said all decisions of the Council of Ministers, who are elected representatives, must be communicated to the LG but that does not mean his concurrence is required. “There is no room for absolutism and there is no room for anarchism, too,” the court ruled.
The Supreme Court said that except for three issues, including land, and law and order, the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern on other issues.
The issue was discussed during APN’s afternoon landmark show Mudda on Wednesday. The participants of the debate were Ram Niwas Goel, speaker of Delhi Assembly, Harish Khurana, spokesperson of BJP, Ajay Arora, spokesperson of Congress party, SP Singh, senior Supreme Court lawyer, and Govind Pant Raju, the consulting editor of APN.
Ram Niwas Goel, the speaker of Delhi assembly, said that today is a historical day for Delhi. He further said the Aam Aadmi Party represents Delhi’s residents. He questioned as to what went wrong when the central government took Anti Corruption Board (ACB) under its jurisdiction.
Ram Niwas Goel, who is also an AAP leader, said that his party does not find excuses for not fulfilling its promises. He asserted that the Delhi government slashed the electricity bill by 50 percent.
Delhi Assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel said the Delhi government did not drag any issue, instead the LG obstructed government functioning, especially on proposal of installing CCTVs and opening mohalla clinics.
Harish Khurana, spokesperson for BJP, said that despite holding the respectable office of Delhi Assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel has been presenting concocted facts. He further said the AAP government does not perform in areas which fall under their jurisdiction, instead they hype on the issues which are out of their sphere. He asserted that this is aimed to avoid discussion on their failures.
Ajay Arora of Congress party said it was not a matter of somebody’s victory. “I want to know as to who is responsible for spoiling three years of governance in the capital. This would be written in the capital’s history,” he said.
SP Singh, Supreme Court senior advocate, said that the apex court has clarified about the need to follow the rule of cooperation and coordination provided in Article 239AA of the Constitution. He said that this was victory for the people’s will and democracy.
Govind Pant Raju, the consulting editor of APN, said that this was neither victory nor loss for any political dispensation, but it was the right interpretation of the constitution which has cleared the atmosphere of suspense. This will also bring more responsibility on AAP to perform in accordance to the people’s desires, he said.
—Compiled by MA Kazmi