Constitution does not say Delhi is the capital: Kejriwal government to Supreme Court

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Nov 15, 2017, 07:56 AM IST

Delhi chief minister Kejriwal had said after UK?s referendum on EU exit, he wanted a referendum on full statehood for Delhi. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

The Kejriwal government tried to confuse the Supreme court over Delhi's "status" declaring the "Constitution does not say the capital is to be Delhi".

The Delhi statehood row has been Kejriwal government's hot-button issue. In fact, just after Brexit, the Delhi chief minister had said after UK’s referendum on EU exit, he wanted a referendum on full statehood for Delhi.

During the hearing, senior advocate Indira Jaising said: “Capital is not defined by any law. Tomorrow, the Centre can decide to move the capital to somewhere else. The Constitution also does not say the capital is to be Delhi. We know that the British moved the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. There is National Capital Territory of Delhi Act but it does not constitute Delhi as the capital of India."

“I am not claiming that Delhi is a state as it has an assembly and a council of ministers headed by the chief minister. But like the executive powers of the states and the Centre are defined and made exclusive, a similar solution needs to be found for Delhi,” Jaising added.

The Supreme Court refused to get into the argument and did not reply.

Last week, India's top court had said the position of Delhi is "different from other states" and the elected government is under an "obligation" to apprise the Lieutenant Governor about policy decisions. 

India's highest court had informed the Kejriwal-led government that a "balance" needed to be maintained between the powers of the  Lieutenant Governor(LG) of Delhi, chief minister and council of ministers.

Kejriwal has been in a running war with the LG of Delhi, Anil Baijal on powers guaranteed to him over state matters. Earlier too Kejriwal had clashed with former LG of Delhi Najeeb Jung on powers granted to LG's office over the elected chief minister.