AAP-led Delhi government today withdrew from the Supreme Court its plea seeking setting up of a larger bench in the High Court to decide the issue of interpretation of Article 239AA which deals with the powers of Lieutenant Governor on the governance of the national capital.
“Learned senior counsel for the petitioner(s) seeks leave to withdraw the special leave petitions. Permission granted. Accordingly, the special leave petitions are dismissed as withdrawn,” a bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra said.
Delhi government withdrew the plea after the apex court observed that the division bench of the High Court is already hearing the matter on day-to-day basis.
Earlier, the High Court had refused to set up a larger bench to decide the contentious issue with regard to the powers of the LG and the city government.
Delhi government had moved an application in a pending case contending that since the issue “involves interpretation of the Constitution” and “raises substantial question of law of great public importance”, a larger bench of the High Court should hear the matter.
It had said the Centre was trying to interpret Article 239AA to mean that Union government is the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi and “if that interpretation is accepted, then a democratically elected government will be reduced to zero”.
It had argued that its two notifications, issued in 2014 and 2015, were only clarificatory in nature as there was a “deadlock” between the Delhi government and the LG.
A total of eleven cases arising out of the spat between the LG and the Delhi government, are being heard together by the bench headed by the Chief Justice.
The Delhi government on May 28 last year had approached the high court challenging the Centre’s notification of May 21 giving LG absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats in the city.
It had also challenged the July 23, 2014 notification limiting ACB jurisdiction to Delhi government officials only.
( Source – PTI )