The central government’s contention that legislation cannot be introduced in the Delhi assembly without its nod has “serious legal infirmities” and is “ultra vires the constitution”, former attorney general Soli J. Sorabjee said Saturday.
The Delhi government had sought his opinion whether introducing a bill without the centre’s approval amounts to violating the constitution.
“In my opinion, there are serious legal infirmities in the said rule. Neither Article 239AA nor GNCTD Act empowers or requires the Lt. Governor to make a reference to the central government,” Sorabjee said in his four-page opinion, released to the media Saturday.
“Consequently, the said rule is tantamount to conferring veto powers on the proposed state legislation by the central government upon the mistaken notion that the government of Delhi is a government department working under the control and supervision of the central government,” he added.
“In my opinion, there is no embargo or restriction on the introduction of any bill, which according to the well-settled doctrine of pith and substance is not a money bill,” Sorabjee said.
The Aam Aadmi Party government has triggered controversy by deciding to introduce Delhi Lokpal Bill in the assembly without intimating the centre, which the Congress termed unconstitutional.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Friday wrote to Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung saying that nowhere does the constitution mention that centre’s permission is required to introduce legislation in the Delhi assembly.