New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Central government as well as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, for delay in taking decision regarding government formation in the national capital.
Resuming hearing on the petition filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seeking dissolution of the Delhi Assembly and fresh polls, the court said that the LG should have taken decision on government formation at the earliest and should not have taken five months' time.
Just before every date of the hearing, some statement is made about the attempt being made for the formation of government but why things are not being done well before the date of the hearing, asked the apex court's Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu, admonishing the handling of the issue by the Central government.
“In a democracy, President's Rule can't go on forever,” the apex court stated.
The court adjourned further hearing on the petition till Thursday even as the Centre told the court that the President has allowed the LG's proposal to invite BJP to form government.
"Suppose Lt Governor is going to invite the largest party (BJP). Are they in a position to form the government?" the court enquired, apparently making a reference to the number of legislators the BJP has in the Delhi Assembly.
"Our understanding was to give time to the Lt Governor to decide. If you had told us that we cannot take decision, we may have heard the Aam Aadmi Party petition and decided the matter either way".
"With greatest respect at our command we feel the government should have taken the decision earlier. All of us know that the matter is pending before the court and time has been given to decide."
The court added that it will hear AAP's plea on merit on the issue.
Earlier this morning, sources had claimed that the President has given the nod to the LG to explore options for government formation in Delhi.
President Pranab Mukherjee replied to LG Jung's September 5 letter and permitted him to explore all options in Delhi.
The LG was expected to invite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the single largest party in the national capital, to form the government in Delhi.
Of late, the AAP has been accusing the BJP of trying to poach its MLAs to muster majority for forming the government in Delhi.
The President's nod came just days after the Election Commission announced that bypolls to three vacant Assembly seats – Mehrauli, Tughlakabad and Krishna Nagar - will be held on November 25.
The BJP, at present, has 28 MLAs and its ally, Shiromani Akali Dal, has one. The AAP is the second largest party with 27 MLAs, while the Congress is a distant third with 8 seats.