The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, which gives primacy to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) over the elected government in the city, has come into force.
The provisions of the Act came into effect from April 27, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
According to the legislation, the government in Delhi means the Lieutenant Governor and the city government will now have to seek the opinion of the LG before taking any executive action.
What are the highlights of GNCTD (Amendment) Act, 2021?
• The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 was enacted 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.
• The Parliament on March 24 approved the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 giving primacy to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor over the elected government.
• The Delhi government will now have to seek the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor before any executive action.
• The amendments give more powers to the LG and prescribe timelines for the elected government to send legislative and administrative proposals to the LG for his opinion.
• When a Bill has been passed by the Legislative Assembly, it shall be presented to the Lieutenant Governor and the Lieutenant Governor shall declare either that he/she assents to the Bill or withholds assent or reserves the Bill for the consideration of the President.
• The Legislative Assembly shall not make any rule to enable itself or its committees to consider the matters of the day-to-day administration of the national capital or conduct inquiries in relation to the administrative decisions.
Delhi power tussle
• In June 2018, Kejriwal and his Cabinet ministers had staged a sit-in at the Lieutenant Governor’s office as a power tussle between the then Lieutenant Governor and the AAP government had intensified.
• The Supreme Court had in July 2018 ruled that the Lieutenant Governor cannot interfere in every decision of the Delhi government and that he must act on aid and advice of the council of ministers.
• The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, in its judgment, interpreted the provisions of article 239AA of the Constitution relating to the structure of governance in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
• The Centre has maintained that the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 is in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the ambit of powers of the Lieutenant Governor and the Delhi government after a series of run-ins between the two.