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Delhi govt.’s responsibilities remain: Centre

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Delhi govt.’s responsibilities remain: Centre:


Context:

The Union Home Ministry has said that the Government of National Capital Territory (GNCTD) Amendment Act, 2021 “in no way alters the constitutional and legal responsibilities of the elected government” to take necessary action in areas of health and education.

Background:

The Act passed by Parliament on March 24 gives more teeth to the office of the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi.

The objective of the Amendment Act is:

  1. To make it more relevant to the needs of the capital.
  2. Further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the Lt. Governor (LG).
  3. Create a harmonious relationship between the Legislature and the Executive.

Key Provisions:

  1. The Act says that “government” in the national capital territory of Delhi means the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi.
  2. It gives discretionary powers to the L-G even in matters where the Legislative Assembly of Delhi is empowered to make laws.
  3. The Act also seeks to ensure that the L-G is “necessarily granted an opportunity” to give an opinion before any decision taken by the Council of Ministers (or the Delhi Cabinet) is implemented.

What’s the concern now?

The Act gives the Lieutenant-Governor more teeth compared to the CM in administering the city.

  • It has inherent potential to trigger a confrontation between elected representatives rendered powerless in one stroke and an unelected appointee chosen by the Centre.

How is Delhi administered?

Delhi is a Union Territory with a legislature and it came into being in 1991 under Article 239AA of the Constitution inserted by ‘the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991.

  • As per the parent Act, the legislative assembly of Delhi has power to make laws in all matters except public order, police and land.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Articles 239A vs 239AA.
  2. Powers of Delhi Government vs LG.
  3. How administration of Delhi is different from administration of other states having a legislature?
  4. When did Delhi get a legislature?
  5. How is Delhi LG appointed?

Mains Link:

Write a note on the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991.

Sources: the Hindu.