The Central government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi can not be seeking privileges of a state government.
Summary: "If you have to treat a union territory as a state, then the Constitution must provide for it or say so".
The ASG submitted the UT of Delhi has been given a special status in the Constitution and it is a centrally administered UT with powers vested in the President. He argued that the Constitution is silent about giving co-extensive executive and legislative powers to the Delhi government.
The Centre and the Delhi government are fighting a legal battle against each other over who has administrative powers over the national capital and whether Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal can take unilateral decisions without being bound by the aid and advice of the elected government of Delhi.
"Similarly in this case, the executive power is vested in the President for the Union and Governor for state", Singh pointed out.
This comes in the wake of the Kejriwal government trying to confuse the apex court over Delhi's "status" declaring the "Constitution does not say the capital is to be Delhi". What is not contemplated in the constitution could not be conferred by interpretation of the provisions, Mr. Singh said.
Ever since Kejriwal headed AAP came to power in Delhi, the chief minister has raised the issue of full statehood for Delhi. Delhi not being a state, the court can not provide Delhi the status of a state government.
Citing jurist H M Seervai, Singh accused the Delhi government of creating disharmony and seeking harmonious construction of the executive and legislative powers under Article 239AA of the Constitution, which deals with power and status of Delhi. 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. For any authority to exercise the executive powers of the Union, it need to be vested in that authority, he said. The Delhi Government had moved the HC challenging a Ministry of Home Affairs notification, claiming that it conferred unprecedented powers on the L-G. Of the almost 600 files that came to the L-G in the last three years, only three were referred to the President due to difference of opinion, he said.
He also accused the AAP government of demanding "uncontrolled, vertically divided executive powers".