Thursday, March 23, 2023

Delhi Government Vs Centre: Constitution bench to hear plea relating to split verdict on control of services from November 9

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The Supreme Court has said that a five-judge Constitution bench would hear the legal issue concerning the scope of legislative and executive powers of the Centre and Delhi Government over control of services in the national capital on November 9.

The five-judge bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud ,Justice M R Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice P S Narasimha stated that it would start hearing the matter on a day-to-day basis from November 9, 2022, at 10:30 am.

The Constitution bench would be a green bench as no papers will be used or relied upon during the proceedings. No papers were used on Tuesday also.

On August 22, the Apex court had said that a Constitution bench headed by Justice Chandrachud has been set up to hear the legal issues which concern the scope of legislative and executive powers of the Centre and National Capital Territory government over control of services in Delhi.

The Apex court had earlier said that the limited issue of control over services relates to the scope of legislative and executive powers of the Centre and NCT Delhi with respect to the term services. The Constitution bench of this court, while interpreting Article 239AA(3)(a) of the Constitution, did not find any occasion to specifically interpret the impact of the wordings of the same with respect to Entry 41 in the State List.

The Top Court, referred Sub Article 3 (a) of 239AA (which deals with the status and power of Delhi in the Constitution, deals with the law-making power of the Delhi Legislative Assembly on the matters enumerated in the State List or the Concurrent List.

On control over services and challenges on the constitutional validity of the amended GNCTD Act, 2021 and the Transaction of Business Rules, the Central government had asked for a joint hearing of two separate petitions of Delhi government which allegedly give more powers to the Lieutenant Governor respectively, saying they are prima facie correlated.

The plea by the Delhi government created a split verdict in which, a two judge-bench of Justices A K Sikri and Bhushan, both retired since had recommended to the Chief Justice of India that a three-judge bench be set up to finally decide the issue of control of services in the national capital in view of its split verdict.

Justice Bhushan had ruled the Delhi government had no power at all over administrative services, whereas Justice Sikri, said the transfer or posting of officers in top echelons of the bureaucracy (joint director and above) can only be done by the Central government and the view of the Lieutenant Governor would prevail in case of a difference of opinion on matters relating to other bureaucrats.

Today however the Supreme Court will conduct day-to-day hearings in the ongoing battle before the Constitution Bench between Delhi Govt and Centre over control of services in the national capital. Hearings to begin Nov 9, 2022 at 10 am. All compilations to be filed by Nov

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