In a bid to address the ongoing discord between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, the Supreme Court has urged both parties to rise above political differences and focus on effective governance in the national capital. The court has directed them to sit together and mutually decide on the appointment of the next chief of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC). A further hearing on the matter is scheduled for Thursday. Last week, the Supreme Court had announced that it would review the Delhi government’s petition challenging the appointment of the DERC chairperson and the Centre’s services ordinance on Monday.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, which had previously granted the Delhi government permission to withhold the oath-taking ceremony of Justice (Retd) Umesh Kumar, the newly appointed DERC chief, stated that the case would be heard on July 17. Justices PS Narasimha and Manoj Misra were also part of the bench.
The Delhi government’s petition challenges the Centre’s June 21 order appointing a former Allahabad High Court judge as the DERC chairperson. Additionally, it seeks to challenge the ordinance granting the Centre the power to take over appointments to commissions and bodies under the Delhi government, as stated in Section 45D of the recently promulgated Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Ordinance), 2023.
During the hearing on July 4, the Supreme Court addressed a substantial petition filed by the Delhi government challenging the entire ordinance. The court agreed to consider interim orders for the stay of the ordinance on Monday. It granted the Centre and the Lieutenant Governor two weeks to file a comprehensive response defending the validity of the ordinance. The Delhi government had raised concerns that the ordinance contradicted the Supreme Court’s May 11 judgment, which affirmed that services under the subjects on the State List should remain under the jurisdiction of the Delhi government.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Delhi government in the DERC matter, informed the court last week that the Centre had not yet filed its response. The court instructed the Centre to submit its response by the next hearing date.
Sources By Agencies