Special Status to Delhi under Article 239AA

  • IASbaba
  • July 31, 2020
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Special Status to Delhi under Article 239AA

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Polity – Centre-State/UT relations; Special status to Delhi; Constitution


  • Delhi government had sent proposal to the Lieutenant­-Governor regarding the selection of a panel of lawyers to represent it in cases of Delhi riots and anti­-CAA protest and not the lawyers panel suggested by Delhi Police.
  • However, the L-G issued orders to the Delhi government to notify the panel of lawyers suggested by Delhi Police instead of the panel of lawyers selected by the Home Department.
  • L-G rejected the decision of the Delhi Cabinet by exercising his special powers under Article 239AA (4) of the Constitution.
  • Article 239AA of the Constitution of India grants Special Status to Delhi among Union Territories (UTs).
  • It was done through 69th constitutional amendment in 1991


  • As per Article 239AA – Public Order, Police & Land in NCT of Delhi fall within the domain and control of Central Government which shall have the power to make laws on these matters. 
  • For remaining matters of State List or Concurrent List, in so far as any such matter is applicable to UTs, the Legislative Assembly shall have power to make laws for NCT of Delhi.
  • Further, for Offences against laws, Jurisdiction & powers of Courts (except SC) and Fees (except court fees) so far as they relate to Public Order, Police & Land in NCT of Delhi; Central Government would have power to make laws.

Lt. Governor and Council of Ministers

  • The Council of Ministers (i.e. CM and his Ministers) are elected to aid and advise the LG in the exercise of his functions in relation to matters with respect to which the Legislative assembly has power to make law. 
  • Therefore, in respect of Public Order, Police & Land – LG would not need aid and advise from the Council of Ministers. For other matters enumerated in the State List, this arrangement would work.
  • In the case of difference of opinion between the Lieutenant Governor and Council of Ministers, the Lieutenant Governor shall refer it to the President for decision and act according to the decision given thereon by the President. — 239AA (4)

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