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5-judge Bench to decide Delhi-Centre row

The court had on April 28 reserved its order on the appeal filed by the Central government to refer the issue between the Delhi and Central governments to a larger bench.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench to decide the issue regarding the control over administrative services in the national capital.

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana gave the ruling. The Supreme Court listed the matter before the five-judge bench for May 11 for hearing the arguments from both the Centre and Delhi government on who should control the “services”.

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The court had on April 28 reserved its order on the appeal filed by the Central government to refer the issue between the Delhi and Central governments to a larger bench.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, senior lawyer for the Union of India, had stated that the judgment given by the judges earlier had not interpreted the most significant part of Article 239AA which is the phrase, “insofar as any such matter is applicable to Union Territories”.

Mehta further submitted that there was no clarity on the second and the third issue which may finally be adjudicated upon by the Constitution bench. Senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, submitted that once a Constitution Bench decides a matter, there was no point asking it to review it again.

He submitted: “The Supreme Court is right because it is final, it is not final because it is right.” Singhvi also stated that the Centre was asking for reference on issues which were dealt with at eight places. They are asking for a Constitution bench to be reconsidered by a Constitution bench. 

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