Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kishan Reddy introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha, which seeks to amend the balance of power between the elected Delhi government and its Lieutenant Governor. The Janata Party-led Center called them “unconstitutional” and “undemocratic steps”.
Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Kejriwal accused the BJP of trying to limit the power of the Delhi government by proposing to introduce an amendment to the National Capital Territory Act, 1991.
But why is the bill being opposed by the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government and how is it likely to revive the long-standing war situation between the Lieutenant Governor and the elected government, which was addressed by the Supreme Court Was 2018?
After being rejected by ppl of Del (8 seats in Assembly, 0 in MCD bypolls), BJP seeks to drastically curtail powers of elected govt thro a Bill in LS today. Bill is contrary to Constitution Bench judgement. We strongly condemn BJP’s unconstitutional n anti-democracy move
In July 2018, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by the then Chief Justice of India, Deepak Mishra, said that the Lt. Governor’s approval was not necessary for every decision of the government.
Excerpts from the judgment stated that while the government did not require LG’s permission only in areas that were allowed to legislate, LG may refer to the government’s decision for the president in the event of disagreement.
The decision also stated that LG is bound by the Council of Ministers’ “aid and advice” until it sends a decision for review to the President under clause (4) of Article 239AA – whose decision will be final. .
The apex court also clarified that the word “any thing” mentioned in clause (4) cannot mean “every case” and only in exceptional circumstances should the LG refer to the decisions of the elected government before the President.
While the AAP’s full state war cry for Delhi went into the backburner, the Supreme Court order made clear that more than four areas under LG’s control – police, public order, land and services – were obliged by LG The advice of the Council of Ministers in matters under an elected government and not vice versa.
Law of Government L-G: The first amendment is in section 21 of the 1991 Act, which states that the word “Government” shall mean “Lieutenant Governor” in any law passed by the Legislative Assembly.
Presently Presented: Under Section 24, this amendment proposes that the Lieutenant Governor shall not provide his assurance or refer the President to a Bill which has been passed by the Legislative Assembly on the matter which is beyond its scope.
Rule of Procedure: Under Section 33, an attempt to add rules made by the Legislative Assembly to regulate its process and conduct of business should be made in the “Lok Sabha” or Lok Sabha.
The amendment also proposes that the Lt. Governor’s opinion be sought before any executive decision taken by the Council of Ministers can be implemented.
Further, the amendment states that the Legislative Assembly shall not make any rules to allow itself or its committees to “consider matters of day-to-day administration of the capital or to inquire in relation to administrative decisions”.
After the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision, the AAP government was not required to send files to L-G before implementing the executive verdict and only L-G was mandated to know all administrative matters.
The amendment, if passed, would force the Delhi government to consult L-G before implementing any cabinet decision on matters falling within its jurisdiction.
The Delhi government, which has set up several committees, will not be able to do any work after the proposed amendments are approved in certain investigative matters like Delhi riots, environment, data and privacy.
Reacting to the proposed amendment, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said: “This bill runs as per the order of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court. If it wants to do center, what does it mean to hold elections and have an elected government in the state? Why does the center pretend to be democratic? “
Speaking along the same lines, Chief Minister Kejriwal had asked “what the elected government will do” if all executive decisions are to be approved by the Lieutenant Governor, who approves the amendment, would denote the government.