SC refers questions on issue of services to Constitution Bench

The Supreme Court in the case Govt of NCT Delhi vs Union of India observed limited questions pertaining to the legal dispute between the Delhi Government and the Central Government regarding the control over administrative services in the national capital referring to a Constitution Bench by the 3- judge bench of the Supreme Court.

Senior Advocate AM Singhvi, submitted that Union’s request for referral of issues which have already been dealt with by the Constitution bench may not amount to referral, but a reconsideration or review of Constitution bench judgement further he opposed for a referral for the Union request.

The interpretation of Article 239AA which is central to the determination of issues involved, for a holistic a Constitution Bench is necessary that referral submitted by the Union of India.

a 3-judge bench led by CJI Ramana had decided to take up the case. a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had delivered a split verdict on the question of powers of the GNCTD and Union Government over services and referred the matter to a larger bench further the court said It may be recalled that in February 2019.

on 27th April 2022 the bench reserved its orders on an application filed by the Union of India seeking referral to a Constitution Bench for a holistic interpretation of Article 239AA, A bench comprising the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli.

Last year challenging the GNCTD(Amendment) Act 2021 was also listed along with the main case, in a case where a writ petition was filled by the Delhi Government.

The Bench had opined that in case a Constitution Bench is constituted, it would want the hearing to conclude by 15th May observed by the bench that the submissions made by Senior Advocate AM Singhvi appearing for Delhi Government and the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Union of India can take a call, while reserving its order the bench submitted.

The Constitution bench while interpreting 239AA didn’t specifically interpret impact of wording of same with regard to entry 41 of state list. Therefore, the bench said that the court deemed it appropriate to refer above limited question to the Constitutional Bench. The scope of legislative and executive powers of NCT Delhi with respect to terms of services are some of the limited questions referred to the bench.

The bench further stated by listing the matter on 11th May, 2022.

The main contention relates to interpretation of phrases ‘any such matter is applicable to UT’s’ and ‘subject to provisions of this constitution’ in Article 239AA 3a. It was also contended that the bench did not deem it necessary to revisit those issues that stand settled by previous constitution benches. Furthermore, it appears that all issues except one issue pending consideration have been elaborately dealt with by Constitution Bench in its decision of 2018, the issues observed by the bench headed by CJI NV Ramana.

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