LAW Courses
LAW Courses

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More


INTRODUCTION

Yes! You read this correct as per the new Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2021 passed this year with the President’s assent the Lieutenant Governor means the Delhi Government. This article sheds light on the latest bill modified by the Central Government and its main feature which attracted the eyeballs; is the powers vested on the lieutenant governor (LG) of Delhi which makes him ‘The Government of Delhi.’

BACKGROUND DETAILS

  • The latest controversial bill modified by Modi Government is the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 passed by both lower and upper houses last week on 22nd March and 24th March respectively with the President’s assent.
  • This bill is said to be amended in the light of the 2018 Supreme Court judgement relating to the ambiguity in the powers of the Delhi Government and lieutenant governor pronounced in a case famously known as Delhi v. L.G Case.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF GNCTD (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021

  • This statute modifies certain powers of the lieutenant governor and the Delhi Government.
  • This act interestingly provides that the word, ‘government’ shall denote ‘lieutenant governor' and will be referred to in any law enacted by the State legislative assembly.
  • The bill allows the state legislative assembly to make rules of procedure and conduct of business as per Lok Sabha.
  • However, this bill prohibits the state assembly to make rules concerning matters of day-to-day administration and also restrains conducting an inquiry with regards to administrative decision.
  • This act compels the lieutenant governor to reserve bills for the consideration of the President passed by the state assembly.
  • The act states that in certain matters opinion of the lieutenant governor is required before taking any executive action by the government and any executive action should be taken in the name of the lieutenant governor.

FURTHER DETAILS

• While the Union Minister G Kishan Reddy justified these amendments to be made in the light of the ruling passed in the 2018 Supreme Court judgement in the case of GNCT of Delhi v. Union of India but it occurs that the judgement has been misinterpreted by the central government while making the amendments.

• The Supreme court in its 2018 judgement pointed and cleared that:

  • The lieutenant governor cannot interfere in every decision of the Delhi government.
  • Except in the matters of land, police and public order, the lieutenant governor is bound by the advice of the council of ministers of Delhi.
  • Lieutenant Governor is not a Governor and is an administrative head that is limited in nature.
  • The concept of collective responsibility stands negated if a legitimate decision of the council of ministers is not given effect due to the attitude to differ on the part of the lieutenant governor.
  • The government of Delhi is accountable to the voters of Delhi so it must have appropriate powers to perform its functions efficiently.
  • The lieutenant governor should act as a facilitator of the council of ministers and not act as an opponent towards them.

DELHI GOVERNMENT & OPPOSITION'S VIEWS

  • Arvind Kejriwal and his ministers staged a ‘dharna’ in the lieutenant governor's office back in June 2018 as the power struggle intensified between the Delhi government and the lieutenant governor of Delhi.
  • Thus the Supreme Court in July 2018 gave its ruling in detail clarifying the power and the extent of interference by the lieutenant governor.
  • By the passing of this bill which curtails the powers of the Delhi government further aggravates the tension between the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
  • The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party alleged that the Modi Government wanted to bypass the elected Delhi Government by enacting such an unconstitutional bill to empower the Lt. Governor.
  • CM Arvind Kejriwal dubbed this as the ‘sad day for democracy.’
  • Many opposition parties like Congress, Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress, DMK termed this bill as ‘unconstitutional' and demanded that the bill should be examined by the select committee.

CENTRAL GOVERNMENT’S VIEWS ON THE BILL

  • Union Minister G Kishan Reddy justified the amendments saying it would give further transparency and clarity in governance and enhance public accountability.
  • He further said this bill was amended with no political agenda rather done on technical grounds which will improve administrative functioning and gives soul to the Supreme Court judgement passed in 2018.

CURRENT SCENARIO

  • The Aam Aadmi Party is intending to approach the apex court of India as it alleges that the bill is an unconstitutional attempt to make the Delhi Government ‘administratively impotent.’

CONCLUSION

Whether or not the spirit of the 2018 apex court judgement has been bestowed in the bill as said by the central government is doubtful but it looks that the amendments show that the spirit of democracy has been shaken.

What are your views on this latest controversial bill? Comment below.


"Loved reading this piece by JINALI SHAH?
Join LAWyersClubIndia's network for daily News Updates, Judgment Summaries, Articles, Forum Threads, Online Law Courses, and MUCH MORE!!"






Tags :


Category Others, Other Articles by - JINALI SHAH 



Comments


update
Post a Suggestion for LCI Team
Post a Legal Query