A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India, headed by Justice Deepak Mishra, has said that Delhi cannot be given statehood.
This verdict comes even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Arvind Kejriwal has launched a campaign seeking full statehood for Delhi, claiming that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) was the stooge of the Narendra Modi government.
However, the court has said that the LG cannot be obstructionist and must not refer every matter of the state to the President of India.
Centre and Delhi Government power tussle matter in Supreme Court: Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra says 'LG cannot act independently unless where the Constitution allows. LG cannot be an obstructionist.'— ANI (@ANI) July 4, 2018
Supreme Court says 'Lt Governor cannot refer all matters to the President.' Also adds 'Delhi cannot have full statehood in view of an earlier nine-judge judgment.'— ANI (@ANI) July 4, 2018
The court also said that the Centre and state governments must work together and have a healthy relationship.
Centre and Delhi Government power tussle matter in Supreme Court: Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra says 'The LG must work harmoniously with the state, the LG and council of ministers have to be constantly aligned.'— ANI (@ANI) July 4, 2018
Centre and Delhi Government power tussle matter in Supreme Court: Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra says 'The relationship between Centre and State Govt should be healthy'— ANI (@ANI) July 4, 2018
Chief Minister Kejriwal welcomed the judgement saying it was a big victory for the people of Delhi.
A big victory for the people of Delhi...a big victory for democracy...— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 4, 2018
According to NDTV the court is said to have observed that the LG had primacy under the Constitution but "had to operate within some red lines." It also said that the land, police and bureaucracy were not under the control of the elected city government. But for other matters, like it is in the states, the LG has to take the advice of the elected government.
The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal by the AAP, one which it had reserved its order, on a Delhi High Court order that the LG was the sole administrator of the capital.