Delhi government moves Supreme Court over centre's role

The Delhi government today moved the Supreme Court to resolve the issue of who holds power to decide various issues of governance as the ongoing power tussle between the Delhi government and the centre virtually paralysed the state administration.

The Arvind Kejriwal government is locked in an incessant battle with the centre over who should call the shots in Delhi, since Delhi is not a full state.

As Delhi not a full state, policing and land in Delhi are under the control of the central government, making it impossible to run government on a regular basis.

The Supreme Court will hear the Delhi government's plea on Monday.

Delhi government's lawyer Indira Jaising told the court that there has been a "virtual paralysis" in the capital because of the fight over jurisdiction and the court should decide whether Delhi is a state.

Delhi only has partial statehood, which means that important subjects like policing and land are controlled by the central government.

Since the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government led by Arvind Kejriwal came to power last year, the state government has fought with the centre and its representative the Lieutenant Governor on key appointments.

AAP says the Lieutenant Governor cannot ignore an elected government and also alleges that with just three lawmakers in Delhi - the other 67 belong to AAP - the BJP at the centre wants to control the capital.

Last year, the AAP government challenged in the high court a notification in which the centre declared that Kejriwal has limited powers in Delhi and has no role in the appointment of bureaucrats.

The high court called the notification "suspect", after which the centre went to the Supreme Court.

The Delhi government, however, disputes the jurisdiction of the high court and says that the Supreme Court holds exclusive domain to decide these matters. The Delhi HC has already heard the matter on its merits without deciding jurisdiction and reserved its verdict.