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Delhi govt can't sue or be sued through elected ministers, says Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on Tuesday remarked that the Delhi government cannot sue or be sued through its elected ministers.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday remarked that the Delhi government cannot sue or be sued through its elected ministers.
The oral observation was made by a bench comprising Justices S.K. Kaul, Sudhanshu Dhulia and Prashant Kumar Mishra as it heard a plea filed by the Delhi government against an order passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) constituting a Solid Waste Monitoring Committee to be headed by Lieutenant Governor (L-G) V.K. Saxena.
“We have never seen this type of cause title involving two ministers (of Delhi government). Whether a government can be sued through ministers? No, it cannot be. No government can be sued through the ministers,” remarked the bench.
In a short hearing, the counsel appearing for Delhi L-G contended that the matter should not be heard by a three-judge bench in view of the pendency of Delhi government’s plea against the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2023 before a five-judge Constitution Bench.
The contentious law gives the Lieutenant Governor’s (L-G) an upper hand in matters related to transfers and postings of senior officials in the national capital after a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had handed over control over services in Delhi, excluding police, public order and land, to the elected government.
On Tuesday, while adjourning the matter for six weeks, the apex said that “there is more than meets the eye and therefore, a counter-affidavit will have to be filed by the office of L-G and the Centre.
“Counter-affidavit to be filed within two weeks, rejoinder, if any, to be filed within two weeks thereafter. List after six weeks,” it ordered.
Earlier in August, the top court had issued notice to L-G and others on the appeal filed by the AAP-led Delhi government against an order passed by the NGT in February this year constituting a Solid Waste Monitoring Committee, on the pattern of the High Level Yamuna Monitoring Committee, to be headed by the L-G.
The NGT had said that monitoring should now be at the highest level of administration in Delhi with the inclusion of all other concerned authorities, including the Delhi government, the municipal corporation, and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
It said the committee will be headed by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and its other members will be the Chief Secretary, who will act as convenor, the Urban Development, Forest and Environment, Agriculture, and Finance Secretaries, DDA Vice Chairman, the Union Agriculture Secretary or his nominee, DG Forest or his nominee (not below the rank of DDG), Union Urban Development Secretary or his nominee not below the rank of Additional Secretary, Union Environment Secretary or his nominee not below the rank of Additional Secretary, the CPCB Chairman, the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Delhi, and jurisdictional District Magistrates and DCPs.