Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has welcomed the judgment of the Supreme Court, which today underscored that the powers of the Lieutenant Governor should stay within the limits set by the constitution. The court said an elected government's writ will run on all matters in Delhi except land, police and public order - marking a big boost for the government of Mr Kejriwal, which had gone to court after three years of tussle with the Lieutenant Governor.
In a tweet, the Chief Minister, who recently held a sit-down protest at the Lieutenant Governor's House, said:
A big victory for the people of Delhi...a big victory for democracy...— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 4, 2018
Mr Kejriwal has been involved in a tussle with the Lieutenant Governor since his government swept to power in Delhi three years ago. His government had gone to the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court ruled that the Lieutenant Governor as the last word in administrative issues.
In its judgement, the Supreme Court upheld the elected government of Delhi and said the real power must be vested with it. "The real power must lie with the elected government in a democracy... Popular will can't be allowed lose its purpose," said the three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
Mr Kejriwal's deputy Manish Sisodia underscored that the Lieutenant Governor will have no say now in service issues including transfer of government officials -- a huge point of conflict so far between the Aam Aadmi Party government and the Lieutenant Governor.
"Service matters are now with the Delhi government... the Centre, on its own, said there was a 4th reserved subject. No need to send our files to the LG, due to which there was interference or delay," said Mr Sisodia, whose party had dubbed the Lieutenant Government the "Centre's agent" after several run-ins.
Mr Sisodia was one of the protesters at the house of the Lieutenant Governor, holding a hunger strike till his health took a downturn. AAP is pushing for full statehood for Delhi with a massive signature campaign.