Ram Nath Kovind, The President of India, gave approval to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, which reinforces the powers of the Lieutenant Governor and limits the power of the elected government in Delhi. The law was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday, last week and by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The sections of the Bill, as section 3 asks for to extend the powers of the Lieutenant Governor by an amendment of Section 24 of the 1991 Act, which handles with “Assent to bills.” Changes are looked for to be brought against Section 33 of the 1991 Act so that the Legislative assembly won’t be able to make any rules for enabling itself or its committee to consider in matters of the day-to-day administration of Delhi or run inquiries with relation to the administration. Notably, this provision is looked for making retrospective in its effect. Section 5 of the bill asks for adding a provision to Section 44 of the 1991 Act, which makes it mandatory for the government to procuring the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor on all affairs, prior to taking any executive action.
The Central government has contended that this amendment has been brought to give effect to the “Interpretation made by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the famous case, Government of NCT of Delhi vs. UOI.
However, Delhi’s present Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal criticizes the law as unconstitutional, anti-democracy and contradictory to the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in the power tussle between the Delhi government and the Central Government.
As per the bill’s objects and motive, it is aimed at ending the lack of clarity on what proposal or matters are required to be submitted to the LG before issuing orders
G Kishan Reddy, the junior home minister has presented the bill, which, pointing in the government say, is a bid to clarify “ambiguities” following two judgments by the Supreme Court. He said there wasn’t any political angle and the amendments are on “technical” grounds.
Case: Government of NCT of Delhi vs. Union of India