CM can't be reduced to a puppet of the Centre: AAP govt to HC

A Chief Minister cannot be reduced to "a puppet" on the central government's orders and the Lieutenant Governor cannot be treated as the Centre's agent, the AAP government told Delhi High Court on Tuesday.

New Delhi: A Chief Minister cannot be reduced to "a puppet" on the central government's orders and the Lieutenant Governor cannot be treated as the Centre's agent, the AAP government told Delhi High Court on Tuesday.

Continuing its arguments on the powers of the LG, the Delhi government also submitted before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath that the LG cannot act on behalf of the Union of India and cannot decide on how the powers, allocated to the state, are to be used.

"It cannot be said that the Chief Minister will be reduced to a puppet merely on the direction of the central government. There is a constitutional trust placed on him... Once powers are allocated to a state by the President under the Allocation of Business Rules, the LG cannot say that he will decide how they (powers) are to be used.

"The LG or Governor cannot be treated as an agent of the Union of India. He cannot act on behalf of Union of India and he cannot be represented by the Union of India as it would be against the fundamental framework of the Constitution," senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Delhi government, said.

Krishnan made the submissions while referring to various Supreme Court verdicts during the final hearing on the issue of interpretation of Article 239AA of the Constitution, relating to the powers of the LG in the governance of Delhi.

A total of seven cases, arising out of the spat between the LG and the Delhi government, are being heard together by the bench headed by the Chief Justice.

Krishnan also told the court that almost every power that is given to a state, has been given to Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), which he termed as a "hybrid-state". Parliament was also "conscious" of the nature of powers being given to GNCTD, he said.

He further submitted that as far as powers delegated to the state were concerned, the LG was bound by the aid and advise of the Council of Ministers.

The Delhi government on May 28 has approached the high court challenging the Centre's May 21 notification giving the LG an absolute powers to appoint bureaucrats in the city.

Along with the May 21 notification, Delhi government has also challenged the July 23, 2014 notification of the Centre which limited the Anti-Corruption Bureau's jurisdiction to Delhi government officials only. 

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