AAP Govt’s Legal Duties Don’t Change: MHA on Amended GNCTD Act

The Centre’s controversial Delhi NCT Bill, 2021, was passed even as the Opposition staged a walkout over the Bill.

2 min read
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, on Thursday 29 April, said that the amendments to GNCTD Act, 1991, in no way alter the constitutional and legal responsibilities of elected Government to take necessary action, in respect of subjects transferred to them in the State and Concurrent Lists of the Constitution. These include subjects like health, education etc.

Further the MHA claimed:

“The Amendment would ensure better governance in the NCT of Delhi and lead to improved implementation of schemes and programmes meant for the common people of Delhi.”   

Defending the amendments, the MHA also said that they are consistent with the existing legal and constitutional provisions, and are in line with the judgements of the Supreme Court dated 4 July 2018 and 14 February 2019.

The Amended Act

The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday, 28 April, notified the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021.

The Centre’s controversial Delhi NCT Bill, 2021, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 24 March, even as the Opposition staged a walkout over the Bill.

Sections 21, 24, 33, and 44 of the Act were amended.

According to the new legislation, the "government" in Delhi means the "Lieutenant Governor" and the city government will now have to seek the opinion of the L-G before taking any executive action.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha M Malikarjun Kharge had also, in the past, said that the Centre is trying to seize the powers of elected representatives in Delhi in order to run a “proxygovernment” by handling over all powers to a nominated L-G. Further, Kharge had pointed out that such centralisation of power is against the Constitutional principles and had suggested that the Bill be referred to a select committee for scrutiny.

(With inputs from ANI and Live Law.)

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