New Delhi : The executive-judiciary tension came to a head Friday when the Union government told the Supreme Court it "cannot act as a super planning commission", and control issues like supply and distribution of power in the capital.
"This court cannot act as a super planning commission. It is not a justiciable issue. There is no legal right involved under Article 21 (Fundamental Right) for a citizen to move the court on power crisis," Additional Solicitor General Amarender Saran told a bench of Justice P.K. Balasubramanyan and D.K. Jain.
The remark by the Union government's law officer was made during his arguments objecting to the hearing of a petition, pending with court since 1999, on acute power situation in the capital.
The bench, in no mood to take kindly to Saran's acerbic remarks, said, "We know our jurisdiction. We know how far we have to go."
"We can't see people crying. Our intention is to help the citizens and make their life more comfortable. We cannot tell them we can't do anything," the bench told the government.
Arguing for the petitioners, senior counsel Ranjit Kumar complained that the centre and the Delhi government were sitting over a proposal to set up a plant by the Tatas to provide 1,000 MW. The petitioners sought court's direction to government to clear the proposal expeditiously.
The law officer, however, persisted with his argument that it was beyond the apex court's jurisdiction to give directions to the government on installing power projects. Power distribution was not a justiciable issue, he maintained.
As the Union and the Delhi government both sought time , the bench granted two weeks time for filing the status report and adjourned the hearing to May 18.