Delhi power tussle: difference of opinion stems from a Constitution Bench verdict

Matter will now be examined by a three-judge Bench

Justice Ashok Bhushan’s difference of opinion with Justice A.K. Sikri on the crucial point of who controls the services in the Capital is inspired by a recent judgment of a Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

This is significant as the difference of opinion between the two judges will now be examined by a three-judge Bench.

The Constitution Bench judgment in Union Territory of Delhi in Bir Singh versus Delhi Jal Board, delivered on August 30 last year, had held that “services in the National Capital Territory are clearly Central Civil Services”.

The Bir Singh judgment was authored by Chief Justice Gogoi. It was pronounced over a month after another Constitution Bench on July 4, 2018, had held that the L-G was bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of the National Capital Territory (NCT) government.

‘Reservation in services’

Justice Bhushan said the Bir Singh judgment of Chief Justice Gogoi had comprehensively dealt with aspects regarding “all Central Civil Services, Union Territories Services in reference to NCT of Delhi, although with reference to question of applicability of reservation in services”.

Justice Bhushan opined that the term “services” means the Union Public Services Commission and not State Services/Commission.

The judge held that the executive power of the Delhi government in relation to ‘services’ extends only to matters with respect to which the Legislative Assembly has power to make laws. The Entry 41 of List II (State Public Services/Commission) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution is not available to the Legislative Assembly of GNCTD.

“With regard to ‘Services’, GNCTD can exercise only those executive powers, which can be exercised by it under any law framed by Parliament or it may exercise those executive powers, which have been delegated to it,” Justice Bhushan differed with his companion judge on the Bench.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:12:59 AM |

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