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SC to consider constitution bench to decide Delhi governance row

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it will consider the plea by the AAP government for a constitution bench to hear its appeal against the Delhi High Court verdict holding that Lt. Governor had the last word in the national capital’s administration.

“We will see whether it will come up before or after the summer vacations,” said the bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice D.Y.Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul as senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam mentioned the matter for an early setting up of the constitution bench.

Appearing for Delhi government, senior counsel Subramaniam told the bench that while referring the matter to five judges bench, the bench of Justice A.K.Sikri and Justice R.K.Agrawal had said that it was an urgent matter.

The bench of Justice Sikri and Justice Agrawal had on February 15 referred to the constitution bench a batch of petitions filed by the Delhi government over conflict with the Union government over the powers to administer the national capital.

While not framing the questions to be adjudicated by the Constitution Bench, the court had on February 15 asked the Union and the Arvind Kejriwal government to argue their respective cases before the larger bench.

The Delhi government, through a clutch of petitions, has challenged a Delhi High Court verdict that upheld the primacy of the Lt. Governor in the governance of the national capital, contending that it can’t be treated subservient to an overriding authority of the Lt. Governor, who was sworn in under the Constitution.

The hearing had also seen the court favouring a balance in the exercise of powers by the Delhi government and the Lt. Governor for good governance.

Delhi was given an assembly and an elected government through Article 239 (AA) incorporated in the Constitution by the 69th amendment in 1991.

–IANS