The Lieutenant Governor (LG) is merely a “figurehead” except for matters related to public order, police and land, the AAP government has told Delhi High Court.
The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan during the hearing of a bunch of petitions on the powers of the LG, Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) as well as the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) set up by the Delhi government to probe into the alleged CNG fitness scam.
“Except for the three exceptions (public order, police and land), LG is only a figurehead,” Krishnan said, while referring to the Constitution.
He also said that under the Constitution, aid and advice by council of ministers means the LG or Governor “was bound” by their decision except where he has discretionary powers.
While one of the petitions has been filed by the Delhi government challenging the Centre’s notifications on the powers of the ACB and LG, others, including one by the Union government, have been filed against setting up of the CoI.
The city government has also challenged a September 17 memorandum issued by LG Najeeb Jung directing all officers not to follow the AAP government’s orders which were declared “null and void” by the Union government.
The memorandum has also stated that officers would face strict action for non-compliance with the LG’s order.
The court on Wednesday had decided to club all the matters together and carry out regular hearing on the issues raised in them.
It had also directed the Centre and the Delhi government, in the interim, to not precipitate matters by taking “coercive steps” against each other and their officials in connection with the issues raised in the petitions.
The court had directed the Centre not to take any coercive measures in regard to the September 17 memorandum and had restrained the city government from taking any coercive steps in connection with the CoI proceedings in the CNG fitness scam.