- Delhi government has challenged High Court ruling over control of capital
- Congress's P Chidambaram among nine lawyers to represent Delhi government
- He has also advised AAP government earlier: Advocate Indira Jaising
Mr Chidambaram will appear for the Aam Aadmi Party government in the matter of powers of the government. "I don't think the Constitution makes the Lieutenant Governor supreme and the Government of National Council Territory of Delhi a toothless body,'' he told NDTV, confirming that he is one of the lawyers in the case.
A Delhi government spokesperson said that as a former home minister, P Chidambaram is particularly knowledgeable in the Delhi government versus Union of India matter. "He is a true professional," the spokesperson said when asked if Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's political attacks on Mr Chidamabaram when he was a minister make things awkward.
Arvind Kejriwal's attacks on the Centre when he was an anti-corruption activist and the Congress-led UPA was in power included allegations Mr Chidambaram and Delhi Congress leaders have taunted the Chief Minister for having to seek his help now. "After calling Mr Chidambaram most corrupt & anti-people, shameless AAP wants 2 avail his services! Did @ArvindKejriwal go 2 brief him?" tweeted Sharmishtha Mukherjee.
However, senior advocate Indira Jaising said, "It is very healthy that he is appearing and it isn't the first time.'' Mr Chidambaram, she said, has earlier advised the Kejriwal government about constitutional matters like the appointment of parliamentary secretaries.
The Supreme Court began hearing the petitions yesterday. Ms Jaisingh too is one of the top lawyers appearing for the Delhi government. The others include Gopal Subaramaniam and Rajeev Dhawan. Mr Subramanian appeared in the case yesterday. Mr Chidambaram is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, the next date of hearing.
In comparison, the government side is short on big names. After Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar resigned earlier this month, law officer Maninder Singh has appeared for the government. Attorney General KK Venugopal has also not appeared in the matter because he has represented AAP earlier.