IANS

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL filed by a lawyer seeking to challenge the provision of the contentious law giving Delhi L-G an upper hand over the elected government in matters related to transfers and postings of senior officials in the national capital.

A bench comprising CJI D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and Manoj Misra said that it cannot entertain a fresh PIL challenging the amendment to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 when a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is already seized of the matter. 

Sensing the disinclination of the bench to entertain the plea and to avoid imposition of cost, the petitioner chose to withdraw the PIL. 

“A petition challenging the amendment to the NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 is already pending at the behest of the NCT of Delhi. The petitioner-in-person seeks leave of the court to withdraw the petition….The petition is disposed of as withdrawn,” ordered the bench. 

The bench clarified that this order will not affect the existing plea filed by the Delhi government challenging the constitutionality of the law brought by the Parliament on control of services.

Also, the top court declined to grant liberty to the petitioner to implead in the existing proceedings which were referred before a 5-judge Constitution Bench. 

Earlier on August 25, a CJI-led bench had allowed an application moved by the Delhi government seeking to amend its pleadings to include the challenge to the Delhi Services Act as passed by Parliament in the existing plea challenging the services ordinance.

It had also granted a period of four weeks to the Union government to file its fresh counter affidavit in the matter.

The President on August 12 gave her assent to the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 passed by the Parliament, thus, replacing the ordinance promulgated earlier by the Centre over transfers and postings of senior officials in the national capital.

The Ordinance, now replaced by a law, was brought after a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had handed over control over services in Delhi, excluding police, public order and land, to the elected government.

The Delhi's AAP government had moved the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Ordinance, saying it violates the scheme of federal, democratic governance entrenched for the NCTD in Article 239AA and is manifestly arbitrary, and sought an immediate stay.

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