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  • 01 April, 2021

  • 4 Min Read

National Capital Territory of Delhi Amendment Bill, 2021

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) moved the NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to the Lok Sabha where it proposed that “government” in Delhi means the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

Key Provisions:

  • Delhi’s present status is a Union Territory with a Legislative Assembly - an outcome of the 69th Amendment Act.
  • The act introduced Articles 239AA and 239BB in the Constitution.
    • They have created the Union Territory of Delhi with a legislative assembly.
    • The administrator appointed under Article 239 is designated as Lieutenant Governor.
      • There shall be a council of ministers to aid and advise LG.
    • Subjects such as public order, police and land are not under the jurisdiction of the Delhi government.
      • The Centre will maintain these provisions.
  • Article 239AA(4) mandates that in case of a difference of opinion between the L-G and the Council of Ministers, the L-G has to refer the issue to the President.
    • Until the decision is pending before the President, the L-G can use his discretion to take immediate action if urgency requires him/her to take an action.
  • The NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 was passed to supplement the constitutional provisions relating to the Assembly and the Council of Ministers in the national capital.
  • The act outlines few important provisions such as:
    • the powers of the Assembly
    • the discretionary powers enjoyed by the L-G
    • duties of the Chief Minister with respect to the need to furnish information to the L-G.

Salient features of the NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2021

  • The NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill aims to amend few clauses of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 (GNCTD Act 1991) mentioned below:
    • Section 21 – This section deals with the restrictions on laws passed by the Legislative Assembly concerning certain matters.
      • The Bill provides that the term “government” referred to in any law made by the Legislative Assembly will imply Lieutenant Governor (L-G).
    • Section 24 – This section deals with assent to Bills passed by the Legislative Assembly.
      • The L-G will reserve the bills for the consideration of the President in matters including bills that diminish the powers of the High Court of Delhi, the President directed the L-G to reserve a bill, etc.
        • The NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill requires the L-G to reserve bills for the President that incidentally cover any of the matters outside the purview of the powers of the Legislative Assembly.
    • Section 33- It mentions that the Legislative Assembly will make rules to regulate the procedure and conduct of business in the Assembly.
      • The 2021 NCT bill states that such rules must be consistent with the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha.
    • Section 44 – It deals with the conduct of business. Accordingly, all executive decisions taken by the elected government should be under the L-G’s name.
  • The 2021 bill empowers the L-G to specify his suggestions on certain matters.
  • His opinions has to be taken before making any executive action on decisions of the Minister/ Council of Ministers.

Source: TH, IE, PIB etc

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