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Democratic setup can’t have 2 reporting authorities: AAP tells Delhi High Court

The AAP government, which has been at loggerheads with the Lieutenant Governor (LG) over powers of governance, has told Delhi High Court that there cannot be two reporting authorities — the LG and the Chief Minister, in a democratic set-up.

“In a democratic set-up, there cannot be two reporting authorities, the LG and the Chief Minister. The LG, in law, cannot be placed in a higher position than the Governor of a state, who has to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath was told.

The submission was made by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan during the final hearing on the issue of interpretation of Article 239AA of the Constitution regarding the powers of the LG on the governance of Delhi. A total of seven cases arising out of the spat between the LG and the Delhi <g data-gr-id="29">government,</g> are being heard together by the bench headed by the Chief Justice.

Krishnan further contended that unless and until serious emergent and momentous urgency is established, the LG ought not to exercise his powers under the proviso to Article 239AA (4), unless and until a reference has been made to the President and an interim decision is absolutely necessary.

“This would apply even to matters relating to Services and to the extent that the impugned notification seeks to by- pass the political executive, its runs contrary to this scheme,” he added.

The Delhi government further claimed that the notification to the extent that it seeks to place shackles on the powers of the <g data-gr-id="31">Anti Corruption</g> Bureau by creating an exclusive class of officers in respect of whom the ACB is sought to be “denuded” of powers was “clearly ultra vires” to the Constitution.

“The said notification which seeks to deprive the Delhi of the executive power/authority to enforce <g data-gr-id="28">criminal</g> law with the Delhi is clearly bad in law,” he added.

The Delhi government on May 28 has approached high court challenging the Centre’s May 21 notification giving the LG absolute powers in appointing bureaucrats in the city. 
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