Supreme Court today refused to entertain a Delhi government plea that the High Court be asked to first decide the preliminary issue as to whether it has the jurisdiction over disputes between the Centre and the state or is it “exclusively” triable by the apex court.
The apex court also asked the Delhi government, which had moved the High Court seeking judgment on a acope of its powers under Article 239 AA of the Constitution, to approach it only after the Delhi High Court decides all the issues including the preliminary issue as to whether it has the jurisdiction over the dispute.
A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit said when the High Court has heard the matter and reserved the judgment on all the issues including the preliminary issue of jurisdiction, it will be open to the Delhi government to approach it after the High Court verdict on the entire issue.
Disposing of the AAP government appeal, the bench said the High Court was a “constitutional court” and had the power to decide and interpret constitutional matters like this.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for Delhi government, referred to constitutional provisions dealing with the powers of Delhi as a union territory.
“Delhi has an elected and responsible government and judgment of this court applies in this case that the Lt Governor has to run the administration on the aid and advice of the Chief Minister and Council of ministers,” Jaising said, adding that this dispute was exclusively triable by the apex court.
“Tell me why you (Delhi government) knocked the door of the Delhi High Court first. You knocked the doors of the Delhi High Court under Article 226. Now High Court has reserved the judgment and every court has the power to determine its jurisdiction. Whether it is adjudicable under Article 226 or under Article 131, the High Court can very well decide the jurisdiction,” the bench said.