The Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2021
After Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha also passed The Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The bill defines certain roles and rights of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi (LG).
- Article 239AA of the Constitution of India granted special status to Delhi in 1991 through the 69th Constitutional Amendment.
- The 69th Constitutional Amendment provided Delhi with a system of a Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers was made responsible to the Legislative Assembly and empowered to deal with the concerns of the citizens.
- The recently passed “Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021” is against Article 239AA.
Key Points of the bill:
- “Government” to mean “Lieutenant Governor (LG)”: The word ‘Government’ referred to in any law to be made by the Legislative Assembly of Delhi shall mean the Lieutenant Governor (LG).
- Necessarily Granted a special opportunity to Lieutenant Governor: This bill seeks to ensure that the LG is “necessarily granted an opportunity” to give her/his opinion before any decision taken by the Council of Ministers is implemented.
- Expansion of LG’s discretionary powers: The Bill gives LG discretionary powers even in case where the Legislative Assembly of Delhi has the authority to legislate.
Court’s ruling related to this issue:
Government of NCT of Delhi vs. Union of India (2018):
- The court said that the Council of Ministers should keep the Lieutenant Governor informed of its decisions. In its 2018 verdict, the five-judge Bench has held that the LG’s concurrence is not required on issues other than police, public order and land, along with this the LG, was bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers.
- The court also said that the position of Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is not the same as that of the Governor of any other state, but in a limited sense, he is the administrator who is in charge of the Lieutenant Governor.
- It has also been pointed out that the elected government has to keep in mind that Delhi is not a state.
Shamsher Singh & Anrvs State Of Punjab:
In this case, the court gave the following argument that it is not right to give excessive authority to a person like Lt. Governor;
- After this, election will not have any meaningful value.
- The voice of the Citizens will go unrecognized. Reason is that, elected representatives chosen by the citizens are not given appropriate power to perform their duty.
- It is against the concepts of “Pragmatic and Collaborative federalism”.
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991:
- The current status of Delhi as a union territory with an assembly is a result of the 69th Amendment Act, through which Articles 239AA and 239BA were introduced in the Constitution.
- It is an Act to supplement the provisions of the Constitution relating to the Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers for the National Capital Territory of Delhi and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991Act outlines the powers of the Assembly, the discretionary powers enjoyed by the LG, and the duties of the Chief Minister of Delhi with respect to the need to furnish information to the LG.
Source – PIB