How to rule Delhi

  How to rule Delhi

The SC clarifies an elected government cannot be undermined by an unelected administrator

In ruling that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has no independent decision-making power, and has to act mainly on the aid and advice of the Council(परिषद्) of Ministers, the Supreme Court has restored(सुधारना/लौटाना) the primary role played by the “representative(प्रतिनिधि) government” in the National Capital Territory(राज्य/मक़ाम) . Though seen as a Union Territory, Delhi was created as a separate(अलग/ख़ास) category, with an elected(निर्वाचित/चुने हुए) Assembly with powers to enact laws in all matters falling under the State and Concurrent(समवर्ती ) lists, with the exception(आपत्ति/अपवाद) of public order, police and land. This gave it a status higher than other UTs. The demand for full statehood(राज्य का दर्जा/नागरिकता) has been around for many years now, but after the Aam Aadmi Party came to power the constitutional(संवैधानिक) tussle(संघर्ष) between the two tiers(स्तरों) of government has become an acrimonious(उग्र/चिड़चिड़ापन) battle(लड़ाई) between AAP and the BJP at the Centre. Until now, the situation(परिस्थिति) was tilted(झुकना) in favour of the Centre because of the Lt. Governor’s claim(दावा/मांग) that he had the authority to refer(भेजना/सूचित करना) any matter to the President. The proviso(नियम) that allowed him to make such a reference was used to block major(प्रमुख) decisions of the AAP regime(शासन-प्रणाली/व्यवस्था) . The Delhi High Court agreed(माना/सहमत) with this two years ago, giving the impression(प्रभाव/विचार) that administrative decisions needed the Lt. Governor’s concurrence(सहमति).

In a judgment that essentially(अनिवार्य रूप से/दर असल) reaffirms(पुष्टि करना/साबित करना) the constitutional position, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Lt. Governor has to ordinarily(आमतौर पर/सामान्यतया) act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. At the same time, it has retained(बरकरार रखा) the Lt. Governor’s powers to refer matters(मामलों) to the President for a decision. However — and this is the nub(मूलतत्त्व/सारांश) of the judgment — it has significantly circumscribed(घिरा/परिगत) this power. The power to refer “any matter” to the President no longer means “every matter”. Further, there is no requirement(आवश्यकता) of the Lt. Governor’s concurrence for any proposal(प्रस्ताव/सुझाव). The ‘reference’ clause(धारा/चरण) may give rise to conflict(संघर्ष) even now. However, the court has significantly limited its potential(क्षमता/संभावित) for mischief. It has not given an exhaustive(संपूर्ण/विस्तृत) list of matters that can be referred, but Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, in a separate but concurring(मेल खाना) opinion, has indicated(सूचित/निर्दिष्ट) that it could “encompass(घेरना/धरना) substantial issues of finance and policy which impact upon the status of the national capital or implicate(फंसाना/उलझाना) vital(महत्वपूर्ण/जीवनाधार) interests of the Union.” Every trivial(मामूली /तुच्छ) difference of opinion will not fall under the proviso. Overall, the verdict(निर्णय) is an appeal to a sense of constitutional morality(नैतिकता/सदाचार) and constitutional trust among high functionaries. It has ruled out Mr. Kejriwal’s demand of full statehood, and the critical(महत्वपूर्ण/आलोचनात्मक) powers — over police, land and public order — still remain vested with the Centre. However, the court having stressed that the elected government is the main authority in Delhi’s administration, the controversies(विवादों/) over the arbitrary(मनमाना) withholding of Cabinet decisions may end, or at least diminish(कम करना). The basic message is that an elected government cannot be undermined(कम आंका/दुर्बल करना) by an unelected(अनिर्वाचित) administrator(प्रशासक/व्यवस्थापक) . The larger one is that the Union and its units should embrace(गले मिलना/शामिल करना) a collaborative(सहयोगी ) federal (संयुक्त/संधात्मक) architecture(वास्तु-कला) for co-existence(अस्तित्व/मौजूदगी) and inter-dependence(निर्भरता/भरोसा) .

 

 

Important Vocabulary

1.Exception(आपत्ति/अपवाद
Synonyms: omission, barring, debarment, exclusion, expulsion
Antonyms: acceptance, allowance, ratification,admittal, admittance

2. Acrimonious(उग्र/चिड़चिड़ापन)
Synonyms: belligerent, bitter, caustic, petulant, rancorous
Antonyms: happy, helping, kind, mild, nice

3.Battle(लड़ाई)
Synonyms: action, assault, attack, bloodshed, bombing
Antonyms: accord, ceasefire, harmony,peace, retreat

4.Impression(प्रभाव/विचार)
Synonyms: consequence, effect, feeling, impact, reaction
Antonyms: beginning, cause, commencement, origin, question

5.Tiers(स्तरों)
Synonyms: category, layer, row, bank, class
Antonyms:disorder, disorganization

6.Concurrence(सहमति)
Synonyms: unanimity, simultaneity, synchroneity, synchronism

7.Tussle(संघर्ष)
Synonyms: brawl, fray, free-for-all, scuffle, skirmish
Antonyms: agreement, harmony, peace, accord, calm

8.Reaffirms(पुष्टि करना/साबित करना)
Synonyms: continue, extend, prolong, reaffirm, reestablish
Antonyms: destroy, finish, halt, shorten, stop

9.Circumscribed(घिरा/परिगत)
Synonyms: dowager queen, merry widow, war widow

10.Exhaustive(संपूर्ण/विस्तृत)
Synonyms: comprehensive, encyclopedic, extensive, full-scale, in-depth
Antonyms: exclusive, incomplete, incomprehensive, narrow, partial

11.Vital(महत्वपूर्ण/जीवनाधार)
Synonyms: basic, critical, crucial, decisive, fundamental
Antonyms: additional, extra, inessential, insignificant, meaningless

12.Trivial(मामूली /तुच्छ
Synonyms: commonplace, frivolous, immaterial, incidental, inconsequential
Antonyms: consequential, essential, important, major, meaningful

13.Existence(अस्तित्व/मौजूदगी)
Synonyms: continuation, presence, reality, survival, world
Antonyms: abstract, end, death, inanimateness

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

In ruling that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has no independent decision-making power, and has to act mainly on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, the Supreme Court has restored the primary role played by the “representative government” in the National Capital Territory. Though seen as a Union Territory, Delhi was created as a separate category, with an elected Assembly with powers to enact laws in all matters falling under the State and Concurrent lists, with the exception of public order, police and land. This gave it a status higher than other UTs. The demand for full statehood has been around for many years now, but after the Aam Aadmi Party came to power the constitutional tussle between the two tiers of government has become an acrimonious battle between AAP and the BJP at the Centre. Until now, the situation was tilted in favour of the Centre because of the Lt. Governor’s claim that he had the authority to refer any matter to the President. The proviso that allowed him to make such a reference was used to block major decisions of the AAP regime. The Delhi High Court agreed with this two years ago, giving the impression that administrative decisions needed the Lt. Governor’s concurrence.

In a judgment that essentially reaffirms the constitutional position, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Lt. Governor has to ordinarily act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. At the same time, it has retained the Lt. Governor’s powers to refer matters to the President for a decision. However — and this is the nub of the judgment — it has significantly circumscribed this power. The power to refer “any matter” to the President no longer means “every matter”. Further, there is no requirement of the Lt. Governor’s concurrence for any proposal. The ‘reference’ clause may give rise to conflict even now. However, the court has significantly limited its potential for mischief. It has not given an exhaustive list of matters that can be referred, but Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, in a separate but concurring opinion, has indicated that it could “encompass substantial issues of finance and policy which impact upon the status of the national capital or implicate vital interests of the Union.” Every trivial difference of opinion will not fall under the proviso. Overall, the verdict is an appeal to a sense of constitutional morality and constitutional trust among high functionaries. It has ruled out Mr. Kejriwal’s demand of full statehood, and the critical powers — over police, land and public order — still remain vested with the Centre. However, the court having stressed that the elected government is the main authority in Delhi’s administration, the controversies over the arbitrary withholding of Cabinet decisions may end, or at least diminish. The basic message is that an elected government cannot be undermined by an unelected administrator. The larger one is that the Union and its units should embrace a collaborative federal architecture for co-existence and inter-dependence.

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