In a huge victory for Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi, the Supreme Court has delivered the Delhi verdict saying that the “Lieutenant Governor does not have independent decision-making power in Delhi” and that real power lies with the elected government in the national capital.

With final Delhi verdict, the Supreme Court ended the long-run political Delhi tussle between Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the Central government over the governance power of Delhi. The heart of the dispute was if the Lieutenant Governor is the sole administrative head of national capital, or an elected state government is. After months of hearing, a five-judge Constitutional Bench of Supreme Court delivered the landmark Delhi verdict saying that the Delhi Lieutenant Governor cannot act independently and must take the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of Delhi government; and that the L-G is certainly not the sole administrative head of Delhi.

Furthermore, the Delhi verdict clarifies that since Delhi enjoys the special status of national capital territory – that is neither being a full state, nor a full union territory; hence, the L-G does not hold same powers and roles as a Governor of a state. In the Delhi verdict, the Supreme Court noted that neither the Delhi government, nor the L-G should feel lionized and must work together because there is “no space for absolutism or anarchy in our Constitution”. And also that the real power of Delhi lies with the elected government – a landslide moral victory for the AAP Government.

966