By LE Desk

New Delhi, May 5: The Delhi high court has asked for the Centre’s response on a PIL that sought to strike down the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Amendment Act, which hands the state Lieutenant Governor greater power, that was passed in Parliament in March, and was notified last week.

A bench of chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notice to the Union ministries of Law, and Home Affairs, seeking their stand on the plea. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma and central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul accepted the notice on behalf of the ministries.

The plea, by law student Shrikant Prasad, claimed that the Act, “redefines Delhi government as the Lt Governor” and curbs the Delhi Assembly’s power to conduct proceedings, the Hindustan Times reported.

“Further, the Act provides that the opinion of the L-G must be obtained before taking any executive action on decisions of the Delhi government, on such matters as may be specified by the L-G,” the petition has claimed.

Prasad contended that the provisions of the Act are in contrast with the Supreme Court’s July 2018 order on the powers of L-G and the Delhi government. The apex court said the L-G will be bound to follow the aid and advice of council of ministers except in matters of land, police and public order.

Prasad argued that the Act was only going to increase the suffering of the citizens of Delhi, who are already grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic and related problems of shortage of oxygen, essential medicines and beds.

The Delhi government did not respond to HT’s requests for comment.

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