Delhi not a state; can't claim powers, privileges, Centre tells SC

Delhi not a state; can't claim powers, privileges, Centre tells SC

The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that Delhi is not a state and its government cannot claim to have powers and privileges like other state governments.

It cannot enjoy statehood on a mere fact that there is a Legislative Assembly here. Even the Constitution makers rejected a demand for full statehood for Delhi.

In its arguments before a five-judge Constitution bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh submitted that AAP government in Delhi has tried to gain false sympathy by claiming that it has not been allowed to take executive actions.

Of 650 files sent to the Lieutenant Governor for approval, only three have been sent to the President in view of difference of opinion with the Delhi government, he submitted. "You cannot create disharmony and then talk about harmony," Singh contended.

Singh said contrary to constitutional provisions, Delhi sought all powers and privileges entrusted to other state governments, even though it agreed before the court it did not demand full statehood. Delhi has been accorded special status among the Union Territories under the Constitution, he added.

The Centre started advancing its arguments on an appeal filed by the Delhi government against the High Court's ruling holding the Lieutenant Governor the administrative head of the government of the National Capital Territory. A battery of senior advocates led by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising, senior advocates P Chidambaram, Rajeev Dhavan and Shekhar Naphade have  made submissions   on behalf of Delhi government.

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