Today, the Supreme Court will grant the final verdict on Delhi tussle and decide who is Delhi’s boss, is it the Central Government or AAP-led Delhi government who whill have authority over administrative control of governance of the national capital.
The much vexed question regarding over the Delhi tussle is – is Delhi a state, a Union Territory (UT) or both? It was in 2015 after AAP‘s victory in Delhi, when the party’s Delhi government started having clashes over appointments, file clearances and control of the police department with the Centre-appointed Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal – who is the administrative head of Delhi. In 2016, Arvind Kejriwal’s party filed a case in Delhi High Court keeping the core of dispute to be Delhi’s unique position as a Union Territory functioning as the national capital state. However, the court issued a verdict that all decisions taken by Delhi government ministers must be communicated with the L-G, upholding the position of L-G.
Blown by the verdict, the Delhi government took it to the Supreme Court in December last year, with an appeal challenging the Delhi High Court verdict of August 2016. The Delhi government has continuously highlighted that no authority or control over the capital’s key administrative departments like development agencies as well as law and order departments like Delhi Police. While the Centre is stern on its view rejecting the idea of giving total administrative control of the national capital to an elected government.
After multiple hearings, today, a five-judge constitutional bench of Supreme Court justices will deliver the final verdict on whether the L-G is the sole administrative head of Delhi or not. At the heart of the verdict, is the special status given to Delhi by the Constitution and Article 239 AA of the Constitution which confers special provisions for Delhi – which is why, it is neither a state, nor a union territory – it is a National Capital Territory.