Delhi power tussle: A timeline

PTI New Delhi | Updated on July 04, 2018 Published on July 04, 2018

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal   -  PTI

Following is the chronology of events in the case related to the power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government in which a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court today unanimously held that Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal does not have independent decision making powers and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

It had started with lodging of an FIR in 2014 by the then Arvind Kejriwal regime against Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Mukesh Ambani and others including UPA ministers M Veerappa Moily and Murli Deora (since dead), accusing them of “fixing” gas prices.


May 2 RIL moves the Delhi High Court for quashing of FIR and challenging a 1993 notification of the Centre giving power to Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) to probe union government employees.

May 8 Centre moves HC opposing FIR against the ministers contending that ACB has no powers or jurisdiction to probe.

May 9 HC issues notice to Delhi government on the plea to quash FIR against the ministers. HC allowed ACB to continue with its probe.

May 20 HC asks Centre, RIL to cooperate with ACB probe.

August 9 ACB tells HC that it has powers to lodge FIR in gas pricing case.

August 19 ACB tells HC it cannot probe the gas pricing case against RIL and a former UPA minister as a July 23, 2014 notification of Centre has taken away its jurisdiction to investigate central government employees.

October 16 Delhi government tells HC its ACB can prosecute RIL and ministers.

October 28 Delhi HC gives time to Centre to clarify on ACB’s powers.

December 4 RIL argues in HC that State probing Centre’s decision on gas pricing is absurd.


May 25 HC says ACB has jurisdiction to arrest policemen who come under Centre. It says the Centre’s May 21 notification limiting ACB’s powers was “suspect”.

May 26 PIL in HC against Centre’s May 21 notification giving powers to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) to appoint bureaucrats in Delhi.

May 28 Delhi government moves HC on Centre’s notification on LG’s powers. Centre moves the Supreme Court against Delhi HC’s May 25 order terming as “suspect” its notification.

May 29 HC asks LG to consider Delhi government’s proposals on shifting of nine bureaucrats from one post to another.

June 10 HC refuses to stay MHA notification on ACB power.

June 27 Delhi government moves HC to restrain LG appointee ACB chief M K Meena from entering anti-graft body’s office.


January 27 Union government tells HC that Delhi is under Centre’s control and not full-fledged state.

April 5 AAP government asks HC to refer to larger bench petitions on powers of LG on the governance of Delhi.

April 6 Delhi government tells HC it was competent to set up a commission to probe allegations of corruption in awarding licence to conduct CNG fitness tests.

April 19 AAP government withdraws from SC its plea seeking setting up of a larger bench in HC.

May 24 HC reserves order on AAP government’s plea for a stay on proceedings on the petitions arising out of its stand-off with LG over powers to appoint bureaucrats in the national capital and other issues.

May 30 HC turns down AAP government’s request to first decide its stay application.

July 1 SC agrees to hear AAP government’s plea seeking a direction that HC be restrained from delivering judgement on issues, including the scope of powers of the city government to exercise its authority in performing public functions.

July 4 Justice J S Khehar of SC recuses from hearing AAP govt’s plea on declaration of powers of Delhi as a state.

July 5 Justice L Nageshwar Rao of SC also recuses from hearing Delhi government’s plea.

July 8 SC refuses to entertain Delhi government plea to first decide the preliminary issue as to whether it has the jurisdiction over disputes between the Centre and the state or is it “exclusively” triable by the apex court.

August 4 HC says LG is administrative head of National Capital Territory and AAP government’s contention that he is bound to act on the advice of Council of Ministers was “without substance”.


February 15 SC refers to constitution bench the pleas on Delhi-Centre row over governance.

November 2 Constitution bench of SC commences hearing.

November 8 SC observes that responsibilities conferred upon LG are not absolute.

November 14 SC raises a question if constitutional scheme on division of executive powers between the Centre and the states can be made applicable to the union territory of Delhi.

November 21 Centre opposes AAP government’s submissions in the SC, says Delhi has been accorded “special status” among union territories but that does not make it a state.

December 6 SC reserves judgement on a batch of pleas on Delhi-Centre power tussle after hearing arguments for 15 days.


July 4 SC says LG does not have independent decision making powers, and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.

Published on July 04, 2018
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