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Centre, Delhi spar again amid confusion over pending bills

Though a home ministry official said that all pending 14 bills have been sent back to the Delhi government due to procedural lapses, the L-G and chief minister’s offices denied having received any bills.

delhi Updated: Jun 25, 2016 08:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
AAP,Delhi government,Arvind Kejriwal
New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal launched an attack on the centre in a series of tweets, telling the Union government to let his government work.(Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

Confusion prevailed over the status of bills sent by the Delhi government to Union home ministry for presidential approval after a senior home ministry official said all pending bills have been sent back to the Kejriwal government in the last few weeks due to procedural lapses.

An aide to Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, however, denied receiving any communication from home ministry in this regard. Delhi chief minister’s office also denied receiving any pending bill from the home ministry.

But Delhi CM Kejriwal was quick to launch an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of pending bills.

Kejriwal tweeted: “I request Modi ji with folded hands. Have a big heart and forget the defeat in Delhi. Don’t take revenge from people of Delhi in this manner.”

The Friday feud started after a senior home ministry official said since Delhi is a union territory, any bill it wants to adopt in the assembly has to be first sent to the central government for prior approval in the form of legislative proposal but in most of the bills the procedure was not followed. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Read More:Centre rejects charge that it is delaying nod to 10 other Delhi govt’s bills

But a Delhi government official said: “Section 26 of GNCTD Act clearly says no bill passed by Delhi assembly shall be invalid merely since prior assent of LG/MHA was not taken.”

Kejriwal government had sent 11 bills to the Centre for approval. Of them, one bill that sought to protect 21 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, who were appointed parliamentary secretaries, from disqualification for holding office of profit, has already been rejected by the President on the recommendation of the home ministry.

As per home ministry sources, three other bills — The Delhi Netaji Subhas University of Technology Bill, 2015, The Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015, and The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (Amendment) Act, 2015, were received in December, 2015, from the Delhi government. They have sought clarifications from the AAP government on all three bills.

The home ministry received seven other bills from Delhi government in April this year.

Of the seven pending bills, three are education bills - The Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill, 2015, The Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015. Till last week, the home ministry was awaiting response of various central ministries on them.

Four more legislations — Jan Lokpal Bill, Minimum Wages (Delhi) Amendment Bill, 2015, The Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015 and The Code of Criminal Procedure (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015 were received by the home ministry for the presidential approval. They are also pending.

There are five more bills – called salary bills – as they pertain to increase on salary and allowances of Delhi’s MLAs, ministers, speaker/deputy speaker, chief whip and leader of opposition – were sent by the Delhi government in the form legislative proposals as instructed by the home ministry. On these five bills clarifications have been sought from the Delhi government.

First Published: Jun 24, 2016 21:56 IST