New Delhi, Sept 10: A 1996 judgment is likely to stand in the way of the Delhi government which has gone to the Supreme Court challenging an order that had said that Delhi is a union territory and not a state.
The Delhi High Court had recently ruled that the LG is the administrative head of the Capital and he is not bound by the advise of the elected government in Delhi.
The high court also held that since Delhi is a union territory, it would mean that the government has no control over important departments such as law and order and also the Delhi Development Authority. The Delhi council of ministers cannot take a decision without referring to the lieutenant governor first, the High Court also ruled.
However, the verdict that is likely to come in the way of the Delhi government is the 1996 judgment in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation versus State of Punjab.
In the judgment passed by a nine judge Bench, the court had held that Delhi is a Union Territory. The Union Territory of Delhi is in a class by itself but is certainly not a State. Union Territories are not 'States': they are the territories of the Union falling outside the territories of the States, the Bench had also ruled.
When the matter was being heard in the Supreme Court on Friday, the judge reminded the Delhi government about this verdict. The judge said that this verdict clearly calls Delhi a union territory.
To this the counsel appearing for the Delhi Government sought that the matter be referred to a larger bench. He said that since the earlier verdict was passed by a nine judge bench, the matter be referred to a Constitutional Bench of 11 judges.