Delhi vs Centre Case: In a victory for AAP, Supreme Court says the Delhi govt has control over services [11.5.2023]

In a unanimous judgement, a five-judge constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud said that the real administrative power in the national capital must rest with the elected government and the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) shall exercise powers under the administrative role as entrusted by the President.

The Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over services, the court said.

"Democratically elected government shall have control over its officers," CJI Chandrachud said.

"The executive administration can only extend to the matters which fall outside the legislative assembly but is limited to the powers entrusted by the President and it cannot mean administration over the entire national capital territory of Delhi (NCTD), " he added.

According to the news agency ANI, Chandrachud said that if a democratically elected government is not given the power to control the officers, the principle of the triple chain of accountability will be redundant.

The judgement highlighted that the states too have the power but the executive power of the State will be subject to the law existing of the Union. "It has to be ensured that the governance of States is not taken over by the Union," it said.

Chandrachud also said that the Centre has exclusive powers over List 1 and the state government has over the other two lists in the Constitution. For the concurrent list, the Centre has power. "State too has the power but the executive power of the state will be subject to the law existing in the union," he said. 

11 May 2023