New Delhi: With the objective of giving a proper ‘interpretation’ of a Supreme Court ruling, the Centre introduced Monday a bill in Lok Sabha that seeks to define certain role and powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy introduced the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Lok Sabha.
Minutes after the bill, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal voiced his concern. He said that the aim is to drastically curtail the powers of his elected government through the bill in the Lok Sabha. Kejriwal also said that the bill is ‘contrary to Constitution Bench judgement’.
According to proposed amendments, Section 21 of the Act – dealing with restrictions on laws passed by legislative assembly with respect to certain matters – is sought to be revised to clarify that the expression ‘government’ referred to in any law to be made by the legislative assembly shall mean the ‘Lieutenant Governor’. A sub-section shall be inserted to this effect in Section 21.
In section 24 of the principal Act – which requires a Bill passed by the Delhi Legislative Assembly to be presented to the LG who may assent, withhold or reserve it for consideration of the President – an additional clause will be inserted to cover any of the matters that fall outside the purview of the powers conferred on the legislative assembly.
Also, in the proviso, for the words ‘Provided that’, the following shall be substituted, “Provided that the Legislative Assembly shall not make any rule to enable itself or its Committees to consider the matters of day-to-day administration of the Capital or conduct inquiries in relation to the administrative decisions, and any of the rule made in contravention of this proviso, before the commencement of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, shall be void’.
“The said bill will promote harmonious relations between the legislature and the executive, and further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the LG, in line with the constitutional scheme of governance of National Capital Territory of Delhi, as interpreted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” the statement of objects said.
In a tweet, the AAP national convener said he strongly condemns ‘BJP’s unconstitutional and anti-democracy’ move.
“After being rejected by ppl of Delhi (8 seats in Assembly, 0 in MCD bypolls), BJP seeks to drastically curtail powers of elected government through a Bill in LS today. Bill is contrary to Constitution Bench judgement. We strongly condemn BJP’s unconstitutional n anti-democracy move (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted.