A Historic Judgment

The judgment delivered by the Supreme Court on Wednesday on the powers of the Lieutenant Governor and the democratically elected government of Delhi  is a historic one in that it restores the primacy of the elected representatives of the people and their right to govern. The apex court has said that except three subjects which are under the Union Government, namely, Land, Police and Public Order, all other powers are exercisable by the elected government of Delhi.  By sternly asking the LG “not to play an obstructionist role”, blocking the implementation of every decision of the Delhi Cabinet, the apex court has only confirmed which was palpably evident, namely, that under the orders of his political masters, the LG was obstructing the functioning of the Delhi Government.
The apex court has made it clear that the LG has no independent decision making powers and decisions taken by the Delhi Council of Ministers are binding on him. Also, that while the LG has to be kept informed of all executive decisions taken by the Delhi Government, it is the position taken by the LG at the behest of the Union Government is correct that the not necessary to obtain his concurrence on every issue. In fact the LG cannot stall all the decisions of the elected government which represents the aims and aspirations of the electorate. In fact if elected government of Delhi cannot appoint even a chaprasi or buy a box of gem clip without the permission of the LG then there cannot be a raison d’etre for maintaining a Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers at the taxpayers’ money. It is better to dissolve these bodies.
The Union Government’s attitude to the AAP-ruled Delhi Government, as reflected in the LG’s decisions and his style of functioning, were violative of the spirit of democracy and were subversive of the powers of an elected government. What has vitiated the entire atmosphere is the inability of the BJP which is ruling at the Centre to digest a humiliating defeat in the Delhi State Assembly elections when the Aam Admi Party swept the polls, winning 67 of 70 seats and the BJP had to remain satisfied with just three. The Congress, which was ruling Delhi, failed to get a single seat and that is why the Congress adopted a line of extreme hostility to the AAP from the beginning, even as it was busy trying to stitch together an anti-BJP front of the opposition parties. Political prudence demands that the Congress retrace its steps and cooperate with the AAP.

Wednesday, 4 July, 2018