Delhi Full Statehood Issue

Bill coming on Delhi government and L-G functions

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Art. 239AA

Mains level : Delhi govt. - LG power tussle

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is all set to introduce legislation to amend a 1991 Act pertaining to the powers and functions of the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor (LG).

What is the new bill?

  • The Bill is likely to clearly define the powers of the LG and the Delhi government on the lines of the Supreme Court judgment of February 2019.
  • It is likely to give more teeth to the LG’s office.

Why need such a law?

  • The Delhi UT government is often at loggerheads with the Centre on administrative matters in the Capital.

What made it to the news?

  • A Supreme Court Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had, other than the question of services, given a unanimous verdict on the role of the two authorities.
  • In the February 14, 2019 verdict, the court upheld as “legal” the MHA’s 2015 notifications authorising the LG to exercise powers in relation to services.
  • It had directed the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) police not to take cognizance of offences against Central government officials.

SC confirms HC findings

  • The apex court confirmed the Delhi High Court’s finding that the ACB’s jurisdiction is confined to Delhi officials and statutory bodies and does not extend to Central government officials.
  • Last year, the MHA notified the rules for the newly created UT of J&K, where it provided a solution in case of difference of opinion between the LG and a Minister.
  • It ruled that if no agreement could be reached even after a month, the decision of the Lieutenant Governor shall be deemed to have been accepted by the Council of Ministers.

What are the key propositions?

  • According to changes proposed in the new Act, the LG could act in his discretion in any matter that is beyond the purview of the powers of the Assembly of Delhi.
  • This would be in matters related to the All India (Civil) Services and the ACB.

Back2Basics: Special Status for New Delhi

  • Article 239AA of the Constitution of India granted Special Status to Delhi among Union Territories (UTs) in the year 1991 through 69th constitutional amendment.
  • It provided a Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers responsible to such Assembly with appropriate powers.
  • That’s when Delhi was named as National Capital Region (NCT) of Delhi.
  • As per this article – Public Order, Police & Land in NCT of Delhi fall within the domain and control of Central Government which shall have the power to make laws on these matters.
  • For remaining matters of State List or Concurrent List, in so far as any such matter is applicable to UTs, the Legislative Assembly shall have the power to make laws for NCT of Delhi.
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