Following the Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict that the Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over services except for public order, police and land, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday hailed the decision as a victory for democracy.
In a tweet, Kejriwal said, “Heartfelt thanks to the Supreme Court for doing justice to the people of Delhi. With this decision, the pace of development of Delhi will increase manifold. Democracy won.”
The CM has called for a meeting of his ministers today after the Supreme Court verdict.
The Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also hailed the unanimous verdict and called it a “big victory for the Delhi government’.
Delhi health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said that CM Arvind Kejriwal had fought the legal battle in the case for eight years, and today “people won”.
Party leader Raghav Chadha, MP, said in a tweet that Supreme Court’s landmark judgement sent a “stern message”
“Satyamev Jayate. Delhi wins. Hon’ble Supreme Court’s landmark judgement sends a stern message that officers working with Govt of Delhi are meant to serve people of Delhi through the elected government and not unelected usurpers parachuted by Centre to stall governance, namely LG,” Chadha said in a tweet.
Calling the decision “historic”, AAP MP Atishi hailed the SC verdict saying that no one will be able to “obstruct” the work of the people of Delhi after the judgment.
“Satyameva Jayate! After years of fighting, the Supreme Court has given the @ArvindKejriwal government its due. Now no one will be able to obstruct the work of the people of Delhi. This historic decision is the victory of the people of Delhi,” Atishi said in a tweet. “Now Delhi will progress at double the speed. Congratulations everyone!” she added.
In a major win for the AAP government, a five-bench Constitution bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud observed that an elected government needs to have control over the administration. The apex bench said the Union territory of Delhi has “sui generis (unique) character” and refused to agree with the 2019 judgement of Justice Ashok Bhushan that the Delhi government has no power over the issue of services.
“The National Capital Territory of Delhi government has legislative and executive powers over services sans…public order, police and land,” said the bench, which also comprised Justices M R Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and P S Narasimha.
The top court said in its verdict that primacy of the Centre in administrative issues would abrogate the federal system and the principle of representative democracy, adding if ‘services’ are excluded from the legislative and executive domain, then ministers would be excluded from controlling civil servants.
Democracy and federalism are part of the basic structure of the Constitution, the CJI said, while reading out the judgement in a packed courtroom.
The order also said if officers stop reporting to ministers, then the principle of collective responsibility is affected, and added that in a democratic form of governance, the real power of administration must rest on the elected arm of government.