NCT Bill gets presidential assent, L-G gets sweeping powers over Delhi govt | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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NCT Bill gets presidential assent, L-G gets sweeping powers over Delhi govt

PTI | , New Delhi
Mar 29, 2021 01:44 AM IST

According to the law, ‘government’ in Delhi will now refer to the L-G in the context of all laws passed in the Capital.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave his assent to a Bill that accords primacy to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor (L-G) over the elected government in the Capital, a move that sparked a renewed power tussle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the Centre.

The Delhi government and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) did not comment on the matter on Sunday. In picture - Lt Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal.(HT Photo)
The Delhi government and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) did not comment on the matter on Sunday. In picture - Lt Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal.(HT Photo)

The central government announced the presidential assent to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 through a gazette notification.

The Delhi government and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) did not comment on the matter on Sunday.

The controversial bill, which effectively hands executive powers to the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) from the city-state’s government and legislative assembly, cleared Parliament on Wednesday after the Rajya Sabha passed it with an 83-45 vote amid a walkout by Opposition parties. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on March 22.

The bill says that “government” in Delhi will now refer to the L-G in the context of all laws passed in the Capital, and that the opinion of the L-G will be mandatory before any executive action. It also bars the state assembly from forming any committees to examine the day-to-day administration of Delhi.

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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia, and senior leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) called it “unconstitutional” and “anti-democracy”. The AAP also held a protest on March 17 in Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against the Bill – which has now been notified as a law.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan have also criticised the new law.

On Sunday, the Kerala CM lent his support to the Delhi government against the bill, and said it was an “affront to federal principles.”

“Govt of NCT of Delhi (Amd) Bill is an affront to our federal principles and rights of States. Restriction of constitutional authority of democratically elected State Govts and violation of Supreme Court’s verdicts, should be resisted. @BJP4India has colonial a mindset,” he tweeted.

Union minister of state for home affairs G Kishan Reddy had said the amendments would lead to transparency and clarity in governance in NCT of Delhi and enhance public accountability.

Explaining the rationale behind the bill, he said the amendments have been brought to remove ambiguities in the existing Act.

He stressed that changes in the law have been sought in the spirit of what has been said in a Supreme Court judgment.

Reddy said there was no political angle and the amendments are on “technical” grounds.

“The proposed bill does not curtail in any manner any of the powers enjoyed by the government of NCT Delhi which are already provided in the Constitution,” he had said.

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