No Punishment For Holders of Demonetised Notes, Centre Tells Supreme Court

Jerome Frank
November 5, 2017

The Supreme Court on Thursday indicated that it may fix a time frame within which the Delhi Lt. Governor should dispose of the files sent to him by the state government and in case of delay in clearing files, he will have to assign reasons.

He said the challenge is to Article 239 AA by virtue of which special status is accorded to Delhi.

The five-judge constitution bench was set up in December 2016 to review the constitutionality of the demonetisation scheme.

"Special status to Delhi has been attributed by a constitutional amendment".

The daylong hearing saw judges questioning senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the city's state ruling Aam Aadmi Party, who argued that the Lt. Governor was exercising his powers in a manner to stultify the functioning of a democratically-elected government.

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The Kejriwal government had filed the appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi HC order which had said that the LG is the administration head of the Capital.

The apex court, however, made it clear that the Lieutenant Governor can not sit on files, sent by the state government, beyond a reasonable period.

Subramanium stressed said the court must "interpret the text and values behind the provisions of Article 239AA of the Constitution" and the objective it serves. However, issues of law and order, and land fall within the purview of the Union home ministry.

On September 9, 2016, the apex court had refused to grant an interim stay on the verdict of the Delhi High Court of August 4 past year. The L-G, he added, was holding meeting separately with the officials without ministers.

The high court emphasized the administrative capacity of the L-G, while ruling that Delhi continues to be a union territory under the Transaction of Business Rules despite Article 239 AA of the Constitution making some special provisions with respect to Delhi. The final decision is taken by the President.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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