SC verdict makes it clear, ‘Delhi is subservient to Centre’: Jaitley

SC verdict makes it clear, ‘Delhi is subservient to Centre’: Jaitley

Agency News

Union Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday sought to put the debate on power tussle between Delhi Government and the Centre or Lt Governor to rest by stating that the city government "cannot compare" itself with other states and that it has no power to set up any investigation.

"The Supreme Court has held categorically that Delhi cannot compare itself at par with other states and, therefore, any presumption that the administration of the UT cadre of services has been decided in favour of the Delhi Government would be wholly erroneous," Mr Jaitley wrote on Facebook.

He also said the Delhi administration "has no police powers" and thus it cannot set up investigative agency to investigate crimes "as had been done in the past".

"....Delhi being a Union Territory makes its powers subservient to the Central Government," wrote Mr Jaitley, who has at times got embroiled into controversies with the AAP regime in the city.

"There are several issues which had directly not been commented upon but by implication there is some indication of those issues. However, unless issues of importance are flagged, discussed and a specific opinion is rendered, none can assume that silence implies an opinion in favour of one or the other," he wrote.

The remarks from Mr Jaitley, a senior lawyer himself, comes close on the heels the AAP leadership and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have been suggesting that the Supreme Court's verdict on Wednesday gave Delhi Government and the cabinet 'upper hand' in terms of powers of governance.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party in the city hailed the Supreme Court ruling on the power tussle between the Delhi Government and its titular head Lieutenant Governor, affirming that the verdict has virtually restored the powers of the elected dispensation.

The AAP leaders have said that the apex court in its ruling has also clarified that there are only three reserved subjects in Delhi—police, public order and land on which the writ of the central government will last. In his article, Mr Jaitley further wrote that - Delhi is not a State and, "therefore, there could be no assumption that powers which belong to State Government’s also belongs to the elected Government of the Union Territory'.

"It has been specifically held by the Supreme Court that it is crystal clear that by no stretch of imagination, NCT of Delhi can be accorded the status of a State under the present constitutional scheme," he wrote adding the status of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is not that of a Governor of a State, "rather he remains an Administrator, in a limited sense".

"The Council of Ministers being headed by the Chief Minister should be guided by values and prudence accepting the constitutional position that the NCT of Delhi is not a State," Mr Jaitley added. UNI