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After keeping its verdict reserved for several months, the Supreme Court, on Wednesday (July 4), finally ruled on the contentious issue of the powers of Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor and whether the holder of the office can, as was being witnessed in the national capital for the past few years now, arbitrarily hold up or even quash decisions taken by the Delhi government.

The constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan gave three separate opinions in the verdict that was pronounced on Wednesday morning.

The overarching reasoning given by the top court, however, was unambiguous – that the Lieutenant Governor cannot act mechanically by referring every Executive decision taken by the state’s council of ministers to the President of India. In other words, the Supreme Court has said that while the LG enjoys the powers of an administrator, he must “work on the aid and advice of the council of ministers.”

The verdict comes as a major shot in the arm for Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party government which has, for the past three years, been engaged in a bitter war of words with the LG office and the Centre, alleging that successive Lieutenant Governors (first Najeeb Jung and now Anil Baijal) had been creating roadblocks in functioning of the State’s Executive under instructions of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre.

This is a breaking story and the details of the verdict will be uploaded shortly.

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