New Bill Redefines Power Distribution In Delhi, Will Give More Autonomy To L-G Over Elected Government

by Shatakshi Gupta

The Centre has introduced the amendment bill in the Lok Sabha to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991. Under this, the central government is trying to increase the power of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.  After the introduction of this bill, the politics of Delhi has once again warmed up.

Under the new proposed bill, Delhi Government means the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi. The elected Delhi government will not have the right to take any decision independently.For the execution of any decision,the approval of the Lieutenant Governor will be required. Moreover, the Group of Council of Ministers will also need the approval of the Lt. Governor before taking any decision.

L-G and AAP are once again at loggerheads

This is not the first time that the conflict between the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and the elected government of Delhi has come up. In the past, there has been a dispute between the Delhi Government Lt. Governor on many issues. Earlier, many decisions of the Delhi government were overturned by the Lieutenant Governor, due to which the dispute continued to grow. The result was that the dispute finally reached the doors of the Supreme Court and from there the boundaries between the two were fixed.

In 2019, the Supreme Court gave its ruling on the powers of both, in which the court said that permission of Lieutenant Governor is must on Delhi Police, Public Order and land-related matters.

Also read: Diesel Generators Strictly Banned In Delhi And Adjoining Areas; As Per New Air Pollution Control Plan

 If the amendment is approved in this bill, then the powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi will be increased than before.  However, the ruling party of AAP considers this exercise of the centre as unnecessary and undemocratic.For context, this bill had already been approved by the Union Cabinet.

Accordingly, the Delhi government will have to send legislative and administrative proposals within a specified time for approval of the Lt. Governor. It has a fixed time of 15 days for legislative proposals and one week for administrative proposals.

This new bill might create friction

The new bill will create a conflict between the two. Before this bill, the Delhi government used to send the files related to its decisions to the Lt. Governor for approval.  Now after this bill, the Delhi government will be compelled to send the files within the prescribed limit. The files not sent in due time will be automatically rejected.

Before this bill, the government had no time limit on sending the files. But now after putting this time limit the confrontation seems inevitable. Lt. Governor of Delhi already had more powers than other states.This new bill sets a time limit for the Delhi government, but no time limit has yet been revealed for the Lieutenant Governor to take a decision.