• A constitution bench ruled that the elected government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD) has legislative and executive power over “Services” under Entry 41, List II of the 7th schedule except for public order, police and land.
  • The Delhi government had challenged the constitutional validity of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act 2021, which provided that the term “government” referred to in any law made by the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF DELHI WILL IMPLY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR (L-G).


  • The Lieutenant Governor is bound by the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of NCTD in relation to matters within the legislative scope of NCTD.
  • SC affirmed that the Centre had exclusive legislative and executive control over ‘services’ relating to public order, land and police as envisaged under Article 239AA.
  • A constitutionally entrenched and democratically elected government needs to have control over its administration.
  • The SC stated that Article 239AA establishes a legislative assembly for NCT of Delhi. Members of the legislative assembly are elected by the Delhi electorate.
  • If a democratically elected government is not given the power to control the officers, the principle of triple chain of accountability will be redundant.
    • This three-cornered command included civil service officers being accountable to Ministers, who are in turn accountable to the Parliament/Legislature, which is ultimately answerable to the electorate.


  • The 69th Amendment of Constitution in 1991 inserted Article 239AA to give National Capital of Delhi special status with its own democratically elected government and legislative assembly.
  • Legislative Assembly shall have power to enumerate anything in State List or in Concurrent List in so far as any such matter is applicable to Union territories except on the subject of police, public order, and land.
  • Article 239AA, empowers the L-G to refer a difference of opinion on ‘any matter’ with the Council of Ministers to the President.
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