LG's decision would prevail in disputes: SC

LG's decision would prevail in disputes: SC

The Constitution has constrained the Delhi government from superseding the authority of the Lieutenant Governor, the apex has said, in what may be a setback for the AAP government.

If a dispute were to arise between the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister, the former would be the final authority until the President makes a decision, the apex court added.

"Yes, there should be an element of objectivity in exercise of power by the L G following the difference of opinion. The final decision is taken by the President. It is the L G who is given primacy," the bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

Considering the constant run-ins between the LG and the Chief Minister, the bench said the proviso given under Article 239AA (69 th Amendment Act of 1991) of the Constitution clarifies that the L-G's decision would prevail in the event of a dispute.

The bench reiterated that the Delhi government can take decisions on subjects other than "public order, police and land." However, the Parliament has overriding powers on both the state and concurrent lists to make laws, it said.

Agreeing with the apex court's prima facie observations on the issue, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium said there should be a "harmonious construction" of the legal provisions and the Constitution.

"You talked about harmonious construction. You are an elected government but these are parts of law, governing Delhi. Yet, you intend to do nothing within the parameters of law. Supposing there is a difference of opinion, you have to find what are differences of opinion. Yes, that has to be genuine," the bench said.

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