Of course, the Supreme Court Verdict is a win for the AAP. Anyone who says otherwise is lying, plain and simple. And I do expect some popular Quorans to jump in and say this is all a failure and that Kejriwal and the AAP have been shown their places.
And I’ll discuss the apparent setbacks too which the state BJP and Congress leaders have been singing away since morning.
I’ll not belabor the point and go over the entire verdict. You can read all that from the links provided below.
The essential component of this answer is to understand what was the substance of AAP’s case first and foremost in the Delhi HC and then its subsequent appeal in the Supreme Court of India.
The AAP approached the judiciary to clear out and demarcate the administrative boundaries between the LG of Delhi and the CM of Delhi.
It is no unknown matter that the elected government and the appointed executive both have been clashing with each other over every goddamned issue you could think of.
Of course, the CM of Delhi has no power to legislate over issues like land and law & order. And this was understood. The AAP never passed a law concerning these topics and never fought with the LG over the latter’s refusal to attest it.
The fight was always on matters that were within the purview of the elected government.
Just look at a few of these policy decisions and proposals which the LG blatantly trampled over.
Doorstep Delivery of Essential Services: The LG sent back the proposal because “these services would create traffic congestion and increase air pollution in Delhi.”
Establishment of a Delhi Healthcare Corporation: The LG returned the proposal. Reason given? “I do not think this is such a good idea.” No, this is not a joke, he really did say that.
Health Insurance Scheme: Again returned with the explanation, “I did not like the idea of autonomous bodies.” And he did that twice, mind you!
This is just a small sample size among many such annoying and uncalled for interventions. You can read a much bigger list from Sandeepraj Tandon’s excellent answer on this issue.
This was what the AAP fought against.
And it was in regards to this that the Supreme Court verdict today is all about.
And what are some of the major points to be taken note of from the supreme court verdict?
“The cabinet must convey all decisions to the Lieutenant Governor but his concurrence is not required in all matters,”
“Except for anything related to land, police and public order, the Lt Governor has no independent decision-making powers under the constitution.”
“The Lt Governor is an administrator in a limited sense and is not the Governor. He is bound by the advice of cabinet in matters other than those exempted.”
“The LG has not been given independent powers, and can refer issues to the President only in exceptional matters and not as a general rule.”
“The Delhi government must be allowed to legislate on other issues and the LG cannot stall decisions mechanically.
“The LG cannot act as an obstructionist.”
This completely vindicates the AAP’s stand. This is also a landmark judgment in that it delineates the powers of the two executive branches in Delhi for the first time.
From what I hear, this verdict also clearly means that the services department will come under the purview of the Delhi government. Which again means that Kejriwal and his ministers will finally have a say in which bureaucrats they want to appoint and where. It wasn’t too long ago that the LG transferred out an IAS officer who was appointed as the Health Secretary of Delhi and was doing excellent work in areas like the Mohalla Clinic Project.
Having said that, the SC also made some comments which may not exactly be interpreted as a pat on the back for the AAP.
“There is no room for absolutism and there is no room for anarchism also”
“Neither state nor L-G should feel they are lionised but realise they are serving Constitutional obligations.” 
We all know the SC uses the word ‘anarchism’ for Kejriwal and co. Which is fair enough. I don’t think he would be ashamed to carry that name tag.
But if you notice the news today, the state BJP and Congress leaders don’t want to talk about all these positives. They don’t have any comments about the power demarcation that happened here.
According to them, the AAP has suffered a HUGE setback.
Because the supreme court verdict apparently said that Delhi is not a full state. And that was enough. The spin machine is working on overdrive to tell you how badly Kejriwal’s nose has been smitten with dust.
But what the SC said about Delhi was:
“Delhi enjoys special status and is not a full state as per the Constitution,” and it immediately follows it up with, “The L-G’s role is not the same as that of a Governor.”
This is not a verdict by any means and is just an observation to make the larger point (and verdict) about the LG’s role and how it is different from that of the governors of other full states in India.
Moreover, the AAP did not approach the SC demanding statehood for Delhi. The AAP has been making that demand to the Centre because it is only the Centre and not the SC that can grant statehood (via a Constitutional Amendment).
And if and when a Central government does that, no sitting or retired jurist worth his salt in India can make that statement again. Because as per the Constitution, Delhi would, at that point, have attained complete statehood. No SC bench could even reject such an amendment using its powers of judicial review as such matters do not come under the SC’s Basic Structure Doctrine.
Also, I’d rather the state BJP leaders shut up about it because it makes them look like rank hypocrites for having promised complete statehood for Delhi during the 2014 LS elections and in their 2015 Assembly election manifesto, and now turning their faces the other way just because they are in Opposition.
As far as Ajay Maken and Sheila Dikshit boasting about how the Congress had no problems with the LG during all of its 15 years in power, well, duh, no wonder you people have zero seats today. That is the whole case, you geniuses!
Never in the last 70 years had the SC ever had to demarcate the power boundaries between the LG and the Legislative. Because never had the LG been so blatantly used as an instrument of obstructionism by any government in the past, including Vajpayee’s BJP. If you’d had to face an LG who threw your proposals into the nearest trash can every time you sent him one, I think you’d have been knocking on the judiciary’s doors too.
So please. You guys are irrelevant in Delhi now. Opinion not solicited.
Heck, even Subramaniam Swamy thinks the supreme court verdict is a win for the Delhi government.
“Yes, what the SC said is correct that LG must respect Delhi cabinet decisions, but if any anti-national security or anti-constitutional decision is taken, which they are capable of taking, as they are Naxalite type people, then LG can oppose.”
That’s what the supreme court verdict was
Please ignore the part about the Naxalites because he just can’t help himself. That’s his way of sliding in an insult. Also, it’s beside the point because never has the AAP in its three-year rule in Delhi passed a law that would even remotely classify as a threat to India’s security or the Constitution.
In conclusion, what we have is a clear supreme court verdict that for the first time in India’s history distinctly draws a line between the extent of powers the LG and the Legislative of Delhi can have. It is clear from the verdict that a lot of AAP’s concerns have been addressed.
Don’t let people tell you this supreme court verdict changes nothing and that the SC has just repeated Article 239aa. No, the SC provided an interpretation to follow which it has done many times in the past and such interpretations have been influential.
If the Centre doesn’t find some other innovative way to meddle in Delhi’s affairs, the LG and the CM should have a much more peaceful time together from here on.
But I doubt that. Amit Shah is already sitting over a table somewhere in the BJP’s luxurious headquarters chalking up a Plan B.