A bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli said that it will not allow any further filings in the case now. “We will not ask for a reply now otherwise people will start filing affidavits till the last date…. We will freeze the pleadings now and let the constitution bench take up the matter now,” it said, adding that the Centre need not file a reply to the affidavit as of now.
The apex court took note of Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain’s objection to the last-minute affidavit filed by the Delhi government. Jain also blamed the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government for leaking the affidavit filed by Sisodia to the press.
Jain said it was a very incorrect practice and the affidavit shows political propaganda and it was shared with the press earlier than being filed.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Delhi government, refuted the allegation, saying: “I have not given a single copy to the press. We know how the press gets a copy.”
The exchange happened after Singhvi mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice Chandrachud. He cited the paralysis in administration in the national capital due to non-cooperation by bureaucrats with the AAP government.
The Delhi government, in an affidavit, has told the Supreme Court that Lt Governor has, de facto, created an unelected machinery of governance in the NCT that runs parallel to the elected government of NCT of Delhi and the LG’s office has derailed the governance in the national capital.
In an affidavit before a constitution bench which is hearing the power between the Centre and the Delhi government, the Delhi government said: “First, the LG has de facto created an unelected machinery of governance in the NCT that runs parallel to the elected government of NCT Delhi; second, the LG has consistently stalled and impeded the functioning of the elected government of NCT of Delhi, by exercise of powers of veto and non-concurrence that do not constitutionally vest in him.”
“Officials have stopped taking calls of ministers…Officials are disobeying orders/ directions of ministers including orders/ directions that are in writing,” the affidavit stated.
Sisodia, in the affidavit, said effecting a parallel machinery of governance by taking unilateral executive action amounts to direct and unconstitutional usurpation of the power of the council of ministers.
The cases in the apex court are – first, the tussle between the Centre and Delhi government over the control of bureaucrats; the second case is connected with the 2021 Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, which gives an upper hand to the LG in the matters of administration of Delhi. A Constitution bench, headed by CJI Chandrachud is hearing both cases. The cases will be taken up for hearing on November 24.