SC seeks Centre's reply on AAP Govt's appeals against HC order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today sought response from the Centre on six appeals filed by Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP govt, challenging the Delhi High Court judgement holding the Lieutenant Governor as the administrative head of the national capital.

A bench of justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana also refused to stay the operation of August 4 verdict of the high court and said it would rather list the matter for final hearing on November 15.

The bench, which granted six weeks time to the central government for filing its response to the appeals, also did not agree with the contention that the decision of Lieutenant Governor to set up a three-member committee to look into the past decisions of the Delhi government should be stayed.

The bench said it may consider referring the petitions to a larger bench after hearing arguments.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, raised various preliminary objections and sought dismissal of the appeals on various grounds, including that instead of a secretary, the deputy chief minister has sworn an affidavit in support of the petition.

"This petition deserves to be dismissed on this ground alone," Rohatgi said, adding that moreover a nine-judge Constitution bench judgement has already dealt with this issue by holding that Delhi is a Union Territory.

Senior advocate K K Venugopal, who represented Delhi government, said the minister had to swear the affidavit because of the effect of the judgement that there has to be a prior consent of LG in every decision of the government.

"No public servant is willing to sign the papers," he said.