Delhi govt v. Centre: Supreme Court refuses to interfere in Delhi HC proceedings

Women Prisoners

The Supreme Court today refused to interfere with the proceedings before the Delhi High Court in the case between Delhi government and Union.

A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit said that the court will not interfere at this stage, when the High Court had already reserved its judgment.

The dispute concerning the powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi had been heard by the High Court, which had reserved its judgment in the case.

The Delhi government, in a most interesting SLP filed in the Supreme Court, had challenged the order of the High Court by which it had reserved its judgment in the matter.

The contention of the Delhi government was that the High Court should have decided the preliminary issue of whether it has jurisdiction to decide the case. It was the Delhi government’s submission that the issue is a Centre-State dispute and only the Supreme Court can decide the issue.

Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the Delhi government, submitted:

“Let the High Court first decide with regard to the jurisdiction. If the High Court decides the preliminary issue of jurisdiction then I have no grievance at all.”

The Court then replied,

“There is already a suit pending in Supreme Court on this issue. If the High Court decides the case before it and it comes here as an SLP, then there is every chance that the suit and the SLP would be heard together.

If it was a suit or Article 32 petition, we would have issued notice in 2 seconds. But this is an SLP against an order  reserving judgment.”

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, submitted that the SLP is “totally misconceived”.

“An SLP against an order reserving judgment? It is totally misconceived”, he said.

The Court then passed its order, holding that it will not interfere and disposed of the case.

“In our considered opinion, when the High Court has already heard the matter and reserved the judgment on all the issues including the preliminary issue, it is desirable that the High Court should pronounce the judgment. Thereafter, needless to say, it will be open to the parties to seek their remedies as advised in law. With the aforesaid observation, the special leave petitions stand disposed of.”

Read the order below.