By LE Desk

March 24

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 15, 2021. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on March 22, 2021 and by the Rajya Sabha on March 24, 2021. 

The Bill amends the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991.  The Act provides a framework for the functioning of the Legislative Assembly and the government of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. The Bill amends certain powers and responsibilities of the Legislative Assembly and the Lieutenant Governor.

Restriction on laws passed by the Assembly: The Bill provides that the term “government” referred to in any law made by the Legislative Assembly will imply Lieutenant Governor (LG). 

Rules of Procedure of the Assembly: The Act allows the Legislative Assembly to make Rules to regulate the procedure and conduct of business in the Assembly.  The Bill provides that such Rules must be consistent with the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha.

Inquiry by the Assembly into administrative decisions: The Bill prohibits the Legislative Assembly from making any rule to enable itself or its Committees to: (i) consider the matters of day-to-day administration of the NCT of Delhi and (ii) conduct any inquiry in relation to administrative decisions.  Further, the Bill provides that all such rules made before its enactment will be void.

Assent to Bills: The Act requires the LG to reserve certain Bills passed by the Legislative Assembly for the consideration of the President. These Bills are those: (i) which may diminish the powers of the High Court of Delhi, (ii) which the President may direct to be reserved, (iii) dealing with the salaries and allowances of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and members of the Assembly and the Ministers, or (iv) relating to official languages of the Assembly or the NCT of Delhi.  The Bill requires the LG to also reserve those Bills for the President which incidentally cover any of the matters outside the purview of the powers of the Legislative Assembly.

LG’s opinion for executive actions: The Act specifies that all executive action by the government, whether taken on the advice of the Ministers or otherwise, must be taken in the name of the LG.  The Bill adds that on certain matters, as specified by the LG, his opinion must be obtained before taking any executive action on the decisions of the Minister/ Council of Ministers.  

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