A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra pronounced the judgement in the Delhi government vs Lieutenant Governor case today. The SC judgement has been projected as if it was in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party by the mainstream media and the army of AAP social media users, but it is far from the truth of the matter. Arvind Kejriwal and other over-glorified leaders of the AAP have hailed it as a big victory, while they chose to stay silent on the other directives given by the CJI Dipak Misra-led bench of the SC. In the judgement, the SC asked the Delhi LG to work in tandem with the council of ministers of the ruling party in Delhi. It said, “Delhi LG must work harmoniously with council of ministers and attempt should be made to settle difference of opinion with discussions.” This in anyway does not mean that the powers of the Delhi LG have been ceased or curtailed, and contrary to popular opinion, it means that the Delhi LG still has the authority to question and challenge the passage of important topics related to governance. The SC bench went on to add that issues where there is a difference of opinion between the Delhi LG and Council of Ministers could still be referred to the President.
Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP government have not got any special powers after this decision by the SC. Ex-CM of Delhi and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit was quick to point this out as soon as the apex court judgement was made public, she said, “This is no one’s victory or loss.”She went on to add that the court judgment had simply reiterated what was already present in the Constitution. Her statement should have cut short the celebrations by Arvind Kejriwal and company, but if there is one thing which AAP excels in then it is taking maximum political mileage out of any possible situation, and that is exactly what the party is doing right now. AAP supporters have taken one of the directives by the Supreme Court to heart, which is that the concurrence of Delhi LG is not necessary for all matters. What they are not expressing is that along with law and order, there are three things which still remain under the Delhi LG. Anti-corruption Bureau of Delhi is still going to stay under the Delhi LG.
Delhi cannot be given the status of a state in view of an earlier 9 judge judgment. LG is administrator, bound to work on aid & advice of cabinet. – SC#DelhiPowerTussle
— Prashant Patel Umrao (@ippatel) July 4, 2018
In fact, there is nothing new for the AAP in this judgement by the Supreme Court; status quo has simply been maintained through this judgement. Any powers of the Delhi LG have not been curtailed by this and the AAP government has not got any new powers at all. The celebrations on social media are nothing but a facade by the Delhi government to save face in this issue. The SC also rebuked the AAP for its antics in mild words when it ruled, “There is no room for absolutism and there is no room for anarchism also.” Anarchy refers to the recently concluded dharna of Arvind Kejriwal along with its ministers at the Delhi LG’s residence. Nonetheless, Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters from several media houses will try to spin this story and show it as a victory for their leader’s stance in the days to come.