The Aam Aadmi Party will not be able to convince the people that this verdict is a victory for them.
The Supreme Court has upheld Article 239 AA in its verdict. The reserved rights of the L-G are the reserved rights of the L-G.
In my analysis of the verdict, Supreme Court has tried to ensure that for everything, except law and order, police and land, the Delhi government is completely responsible. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) cannot hide behind the excuse that the L-G is not letting them work. They need to deliver and that is precisely what our demand has been over the last four years.
Who is stopping the Delhi government from laying the pipelines, or putting electric cables, or from building roads and improving infrastructure? The answer is nobody – the L-G never stopped them. The L-G is bound by the government’s advice, but that does not mean he will approve illegal and unauthorised projects.
The AAP holds the L-G responsible for every illegality. Under the constitutional scheme, nobody gets to be the boss of Delhi. The ruling party is the servant of Delhi.
The Supreme Court’s decision because makes the AAP government responsible for the services it needs to provide to Delhi and not hide behind the smokescreen of L-G’s interference. Under these circumstances, constantly crying over issues like water is futile. The AAP has repeatedly said that it cannot provide water because Haryana provides bad water to Delhi. We have a simple solution to this: Test the water that enters from Haryana and the water which goes to Haryana from Delhi. The water that enters Faridabad from Delhi is actually the most-polluted.
The Delhi government is a non-performers’ government, it is an anarchist government. And, the judgment has noted this.
“There is no space for anarchy. Sometimes it is argued, though in a different context, that one can be a rational anarchist, but the said term has no entry in the field of constitutional governance and rule of law,” the judgment says.
The judgment very clearly said that the government needs to perform and its anarchist attitude will not work when it comes to governance.
The people of Delhi have voted the AAP to work for Delhi, not hide in the L-G’s office. How many roads has it made with its Rs 5,500-crore PWD budget or how many sewage treatment plants has it set up?
The chief minister had become a squatter in the L-G’s office and is a non-functional head of Delhi. The clarity provided by the Supreme Court will end the anarchism of the AAP government and put the onus on them.
The selective quotation of facts by the AAP government and the manufacturing of false perceptions are apparent from the fact that while the CM is claiming victory, the deputy CM is saying that the ‘battle’ for full statehood will go on.
This only shows that the court has not given the AAP what it wanted. To say the battle for statehood will continue is a contempt of court.
Granting full statehood is a complex question under the law. Delhi houses important government institutions like Parliament. All national capitals, such as Washington and Tokyo, are governed by central forces. Which is why a special law was created for Delhi, giving some responsibility to the Centre and some to the elected government.
The fact that the government says the battle will go on indicates that they do not want to work, further proving that they are anarchist.
The popularity of the PM among people is evident. And here is a CM who has completely failed the governance system although he was elected to work. The AAP will not be able to convince the people that this verdict is a victory for them.
The L-G will do his due diligence while looking at the files that the elected party forwards him/her. If through these files, the government wants to give tenders to unverified companies, how can the L-G pass that? If the L-G signs these files mechanically, then he/she becomes responsible.
The Supreme Court has clarified this part by saying that the chief minister and the council of ministers are responsible. If there is a wrongdoing, the CM is responsible and not the L-G. The verdict takes the burden off the L-G, which is fantastic.
The court has told the AAP that it ‘cannot pass the buck’.
It also said that if there are two laws on the same subject, the law of the Centre will be upheld. The AAP may have said that the ‘battle’ for Delhi will continue, but the verdict proves there is no battle.
(As told to ThePrint)
Meenakshi Lekhi is the national spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party and a Supreme Court of India lawyer.