The Supreme Court on Monday reiterated its stand that the Delhi government should first file an appeal against the August 4 judgment of the Delhi High Court declaring the National Capital a Union Territory and not a State.
A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and N.V. Ramana made it clear that the Delhi government would win the court’s attention only after it moved an appeal.
The court, for the second time this month, refused to hear an original suit filed by the Delhi government for a judicial declaration of the line of control between the Centre and the local government in administering Delhi.
When the Delhi government’s counsel sought an adjournment, the Bench referred to how they had, in the last hearing on August 5, informed the apex court that they would be filing the appeal shortly. The appeal is yet to be filed. The case is scheduled for hearing on Friday.
On August 5, barely 24 hours after the High Court judgment, the Supreme Court had hit the brakes on hearing the suit filed by the Arvind Kejriwal government for clarity on the ratio of power between his Cabinet and the NDA government in the administration of the National Capital.
The High Court verdict had effectively shrunk the Kejriwal Cabinet’s administrative girth and confirmed Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung as the final word in administering the National Capital.
“You cannot shy away from challenging the High Court by coming to us with this suit. It will not lead you anywhere. The right course will be for you to challenge the High Court judgment, and once we have decided that, this suit will have no relevance,” Justice Sikri had observed.
Choice of Bench
Senior advocate Indira Jaising had urged the Bench to tag the suit along with the appeal, when the latter is filed.
But the Bench had remained non-committal, observing that the choice of Bench was always the prerogative of the Chief Justice of India, who would decide which Bench should hear what matter.