Condemnation of the move by the Kejriwal Government was quick with the CM itself calling it “unconstitutional and undemocratic”.
Delhi National Capital Territory Government Bill 2021 (Amendment) states that the LG may specify any matter on which the elected government shall obtain its “opinion” and that the term “government”, referred to in any law to be taken by the assembly means the LG.
Sources said this should pave the way for the capital to become like any other UT. However, the AAP government believes it is designed to cripple its operation.
Depending on the objects and reasons for the bill, it aims to put an end to the lack of clarity on the proposal (s) that must be submitted to the LG before issuing orders. Small Home Secretary G Kishan Reddy introduced the bill which government sources say seeks to clarify “ambiguities” following two Supreme Court rulings.
Sisodia: dangerous consequences for the federal structure
Striking the decision, Kejriwal tweeted: “After being rejected by the people of Delhi (8 Assembly seats, 0 in MCD bypasses), the BJP seeks to drastically reduce the powers of the elected government through a bill to Lok Sabha today. Bill is contrary to the judgment of the Constitution Bench. We strongly condemn the unconstitutional and anti-democracy decision of the BJP. “The BJP won eight out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly election held early last year, and in the recently concluded by-elections for five municipal constituencies, it did not. won none AAP claimed four and Congress one.
SC had on July 4, 2018, observed that the Council of Ministers is only required to “inform” the LG of its decisions and “no approval is required”. In an ordinance of February 14, 2019, the SC observed that the LG was bound by the help and advice of its council of ministers in areas where the assembly had legislative powers, and the only exception was a reservation to l Article 239AA, which allowed G to refer to the President any matter on which there was a difference of opinion with the Council of Ministers. In such a case, the court said, the LG would be bound by the president’s ruling.
The Center seeks to add a new provision to article 44 of the law, which deals with the conduct of business, to oblige to seek the opinion of the LG before the implementation of any decision. The proposed amendment reads: “Provided that before taking any executive action pursuant to the decision of the Council of Ministers or a Minister, exercise the powers of the government, state government, appropriate government , of the lieutenant-governor, administrator or chief commissioner, case may be, under any law in force in the capital, the opinion of the lieutenant-governor in terms of reservation in clause (4) of the he Article 239AA of the Constitution must be obtained on all matters which may be specified, by a general or special order, by the lieutenant governor. ”
Section 239AA deals with special provisions relating to Delhi. Sources said that with the introduction of this provision, the elected government of the capital will have no discretion to send proposals to the LG. “This will settle the matter forever. There have been several instances where proposals have not been referred to LG,” a source said.
In another proposal, the Center has stated that the LG will not give its assent to a bill passed by the assembly on any matter that falls outside the powers conferred on the legislature and it can reserve it for the legislature. examination of the president.
The amendment bill also seeks to ensure that the affairs of the assembly are managed in accordance with the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the House of the People (Lok Sabha). This provision will end any possibility of criticizing an officer or a person who is not present or is not a member of the House. Sources said there have been several instances where the names of top central government officials have been taken from Delhi assembly soil.
Another important provision is that the assembly should not make any rule to allow itself or for its committees to consider matters of day-to-day administration or to conduct inquiries in connection with an administrative decision. This will provide a shield for officers who often face the fear of being summoned to the assembly or its committees for administrative decisions, a source said. Interestingly, the proposed amendment also clarifies that any rule established in violation of this provision before the entry into force of the amended law of 2021 will be void.
“Bill says – 1. For Delhi, ‘government’ will mean LG, so what will the elected government do? 2. All files will go to LG. This is against the Constitution Bench judgment of 04.07.2018 which stated that the files will not be sent to LG, the elected government will make all the decisions and send a copy of the decision to LG, ”Kejriwal said in another tweet.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the bill would render the elected CM meaningless and have dangerous consequences for the country’s federal structure. Sisodia called a press conference at the Delhi Secretariat and launched an attack on the BJP-led center.
“The central government led by the BJP has taken an unconstitutional and undemocratic decision to restrict the powers of the elected government of Delhi. This bill will make elections and decisions of an elected government for its people meaningless. It would only be the LG of Delhi, backed by the Union government, making decisions for the people, which is highly undemocratic and contrary to all the ideals of the Constitution, ”Sisodia said.
“This bill will block Delhi’s progress by giving undue powers to LG,” he said. “All of the decisions made by the Delhi government for the growth of the city have seen LG intrusion. Files regarding the progress of mohalla clinics, installation of CCTV, free electricity, water and schools have all gathered dust with the LG due to lack of support from its office. ”
Sisodia said that “the reason the BJP goes against the Constitution and keeps the LG in power is because it does not want the people of Delhi to benefit from the unique and quality education provisions. , health, free water and electricity. The BJP has meddled in the welfare and provision for people in various states where it holds power and now wants to ensure that the people of Delhi do not not benefit from the legitimate provisions and initiatives of the Delhi government. ”Sisodia said the government would explore all available remedies.