The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL challenging the law establishing pre-eminence of the lieutenant governor over the elected dispensation in controlling services in the national capital, saying it is already seized of a plea of the Delhi government.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices P S Narasimha and Manoj Misra said the Delhi government has already challenged the amended law and no fresh PIL was needed.
“Why have you come here…The Delhi government has already challenged it,” the bench said, adding it may consider imposing a cost on the petitioner and this led to withdrawal of the PIL.
While refusing to entertain the PIL filed by lawyer Mukesh Kumar in his personal capacity, the bench made clear that its order will not “affect the pendency” of earlier petition of the Delhi government.
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Earlier, the top court on August 25 had permitted the Delhi government to amend its petition challenging the central government’s ordinance after taking note that a law was enacted subsequently.
Amending the petition had become necessary after the ordinance was replaced by a law.
Parliament recently cleared the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2023, also known as the Delhi Services Bill, that gave the lieutenant governor sweeping control over service matters. After the president gave her assent, the bill became a law.
Earlier, the top court had referred to a five-judge constitution bench the Delhi government’s plea challenging the Centre’s May 19 ordinance which took away the control over services from the city dispensation and set off a fresh tussle between the two power centres.
The Centre had on May 19 promulgated the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 to create an authority for transfer and posting of Group-A officers in Delhi.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government termed it a ”deception” with the Supreme Court verdict on control of services. The matter is pending in the Supreme Court.