The Supreme Court slammed the Central government and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, for delaying government formation in Delhi, remarking "In a democracy, President’s Rule cannot go on forever," on Tuesday.
Though the Centre told the Supreme Court that the President has given consent to invite the BJP to form the government in Delhi on tuesday, the court expressed its displeasure and frowned upon the delaying tactics being adopted by the government.
Meanwhile, pointing out the five months delay, the court criticised that the LG should have been taken the decision earlier.
Just before every date of the hearing, some statement is made about the attempt being made for the formation of government but why things are not being done well before the date of the hearing, asked the apex court’s Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, admonishing the handling of the issue by the central government.
The court said this as it was handed over a letter which said the President has consented to the Lt. Governor’s suggestion to explore the option of forming the government in Delhi.
Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung has recommended inviting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government.
"Suppose Lt. Governor is going to invite the largest party (BJP). Are they in a position to form the government?" the court enquired, apparently making a reference to the number of legislators the BJP has in the Delhi assembly.
The central government sought to wriggle out of the situation, saying that after putting the Delhi assembly under suspended animation, it had a year’s time to explore the possibilities and the court could not issue any direction restricting the time available to the President in taking the decision.
The court said that "our understanding was to give time to the Lt. Governor to decide. If you had told us that we cannot take decision, we may have heard the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) petition and decided the matter either way".
"With greatest respect at our command we feel the government should have taken the decision earlier. All of us know that the matter is pending before the court and time has been given to decide."
Having said this, the court started hearing on AAP petition seeking the dissolution of the state assembly.
(With inputs from IANS)