Delhi continues to remain a union territory under the Constitution with the Lieutenant Governor (LG) as its administrative head, High court today ruled. The Delhi high court on Thursday told the Aam Aadmi Party government that Delhi's Lieutenant Governor is not required to act on the advice of the Delhi cabinet.
The decision comes as a big blow to kejriwal as he has been in a long turf war with LG Najeeb Jung.
The Delhi High Court bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini ruled that National Capital Territory of Delhi continues to be a Union Territory and the Lieutenant Governor is its administrative head. It means that Delhi, even if it has an elected Assembly and a chief minister, does not have powers like other states.
In a major set-back for the AAP government, the court also added that the Anti-Corruption Branch cannot initiate investigation against central government officials.
The court's judgement came on nine different petitions arising out of the spat between the Lt Governor and Delhi's AAP government over the power to appoint bureaucrats in the national capital and other issues.
The Delhi government had argued that in a democratic set up there cannot be two reporting authorities. The Centre however had contended that as a Union Territory, Delhi was not a full-fledged state, and that control over its government rests in the hands of the Union Home Ministry.
Aam Aadmi Party defended itself saying they will move the Supreme Court to challenge the judgement.
"We will move the Supreme Court against the HC verdict," Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday.
"If the Delhi government cannot take decisions in favour of the people, then what is the use of an elected government?" AAP's Delhi unit convenor Dilip Pandey said.
"We humbly differ with the judgement of the High Court. It is important to approach the Supreme Court to protect the rights of Delhiites," he said.