New Delhi: Asserting that it was well within its constitutional provisions to fix circle rates, the AAP government on Wednesday cited a communication by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram to Sheila Dikshit dispensation in 2011, arguing the Lt Governor need not have to be consulted to take such a decision.
In the latest round of face-off, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung yesterday sought the file pertaining to fixing of circle rates for agricultural land taking strong exception to AAP government issuing a notification to effect the rates without taking his approval.
Jung's office maintained that it was examining the constitutional and legal aspects of the notification and a final decision will be taken "keeping in mind the Constitution, the law and set conventions".
The AAP government, on the other hand asserted that "it has been clearly laid down in the Constitution that except three matters ? police, public order and land - all other matters are solely within the domain of the democratically elected government."
Justifying its decision on not taking LG's approval before notifying the rates, the government said similar issue had arisen in 2011 and the then Home Minister Chidambaram in a letter to then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had clearly mentioned that it was the right of the elected government in Delhi to fix the circle rates.
"Chidambaram's letter was based on the opinion of the then top law officer of the Central Government, Attorney General, late GE Vahanvati.
"Vahanvati had categorically opined that fixing of circle rates solely falls within the domain of the elected government and the LG is bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers in this matter. Not only this, the Union Home and Law Ministries had also expressed the same opinion at that time," the Delhi Government said in a statement.
It said it was "crystal clear" that that since the decision of fixing circle rates is in the domain of the elected government, therefore there was no need of seeking the approval of the LG.
"The new government which was sworn in on February 14 this year, witnessed that the LG was regularly raising objections on files even in matters which did not fall within his domain according to the Constitution, thereby hampering the functioning of the government," it said.