The Delhi Government on Thursday approached the Supreme Court against the decision of Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) VK Saxena, which prohibits government school teachers from receiving foreign training in the future. The plea was mentioned before a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Hearing the petition, the Supreme Court has listed the matter for April 14.
Since October last year, the Delhi LG has been halting the planned training of government school teachers by not responding to the proposal. The SCERT sent a detailed proposal to the Lieutenant Governor seeking his approval for training of Primary in charge of DoE and Teacher Educators of SCERT/DIET to Finland. The Lieutenant Governor responded after more than 3 weeks giving extraneous and unnecessary comments in response to the proposal solely to cause delay. Even then, the SCERT promptly replied to each of the apprehensions in a detail. Ther eafter, the Lieutenant Governor sought further clarifications and returned the file to the Chief Minister on 09.01.2023 seeking a cost benefit analysis of such schemes.
Even though the proposal was first submitted to the LG on 25.10.2022, it was only approved — subject to several amendments and conditions — 5 months later i.e. on 4th March 2023, when it had become infructuous. On January 16, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal had led ministers, MLAs, and workers of AAP to the LG’s residence, demanding immediate approval of the government’s proposal to send 30 teachers to Finland for training. However, while granting the approval, the LG had stated that such teachers trained in said program shall only become trainers in India and that in future, there was no need for such training programs to be conducted abroad, instead, they should be conducted within India.
The elected Government of Delhi had to file the present petition due to the unwarranted and deliberate delay caused by the Lieutenant Governor in approving the proposal to send primary in-charge teachers of government schools in Delhi for teacher’s training to Finland in the months of December 2022 and March 2023.
In this context, Delhi Government is seeking a re-declaration of the well settled position of law that the Governor is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers and has no independent decision-making power.
The government has argued that by imposing the conditions/amendments, the Lieutenant Governor has illegally and unconstitutionally assumed the role of an appellate authority. However, the Constitution Bench had categorically held that the Lieutenant Governor has no independent decision making power and is bound to act in accordance with the aid and advice tendered by the Council of Ministers.
In its plea, the Delhi Government has pleaded before the court to issue a declaration that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. The govt has also sought the court to set aside the order dated 04.03.2023 and affirm the proposal of the SCERT, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi dated 18.10.2022.