New Delhi: The special provisions incorporated for Delhi by constitutional amendment do not “dilute” the constitutional provision which gives the national capital the status of Union territory, the Delhi High Court ruled today.
Aam Admi Party had contended that the Article 239AA of the Constitution which came into existence with a 1991 amendment confers special status to National Capital Territory for its administration by the state legislature which was earlier in the hands of the Lt Governor under Article 239.
Brushing aside the contention, the high court said the national capital continues to remain a Union territory under the Constitution and does not acquire the status of a state with the Lieutenant Governor (LG) its administrative head.
“On a reading of Article 239 and Article 239AA of the Constitution together with the provisions of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 and Transaction of Business of the Government of NCT of Delhi Rules, 1993, it becomes manifest that Delhi continues to be a Union territory even after the Constitution (69th Amendment) Act, 1991 inserting Article 239AA making special provisions with respect to Delhi,” a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini said.
The special constitutional provision of Article 239AA dealing with Delhi does not “dilute” the effect of Article 239 which relates to the Union territory and hence, concurrence of the LG in administrative issues is “mandatory”, the high court said.
“On a conjoint reading of Article 239AA and the provisions of the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 and the Rules made thereunder, it becomes manifest that Delhi continues to be a Union territory.
“As is evident from the legal position noticed above, though a specific constitutional provision has been inserted by the Constitution (69th Amendment) Act, 1991 to deal with the administration of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, it continues to be a Union territory and does not acquire the status of a state,” the bench, also comprising Justice Jayant Nath, said.
Referring to a Constitution bench judgement of the Supreme Court, the high court agreed with the contention that Delhi, which is called the ‘National Capital Territory of Delhi’, is yet a Union territory.
It said that the Constitution provides for demarcation of powers between the Centre and the states and according to Part VIII of the Constitution, which deals with the powers for administration of UTs, the Union territories will be governed by the President acting through an administrator.
“Thus, Delhi admittedly is a Union territory and shall be governed by the provisions enumerated under Part VIII of the Constitution,” the high court said.