Amended GNCT Act comes into force; now government in Delhi means L-G


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The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amended) Act, 2021, came into force on April 27, 2021. The act gives primacy to the Lieutenant Governor over the elected government in the National Capital.

As per the notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the provisions of the GNCT Act came into force on April 27.

The notification which was signed by Govind Mohan, Additional Secretary in MHA stated that “ In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act 2021 (15 of 2021), the Union Government hereby appoints the 27 April 2021 as a date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force”.

The Amendment Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on March 22 and in Rajya Sabha on March 24, 2021, amid the heavy criticism of opposition parties.

What will be different as the Amendment bill comes into force?

As per the legislation, the government in Delhi means the ‘Lieutenant Governor’. As the Amended bill comes into force, the state government will now have to seek the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor before taking any executive action.

The amendment bill clearly enhances the power of L-G over the elected government of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi- GNCTD.

It also provides power to the L-G to make rules, particularly, in matters that fall outside the purview of the elected government in the National Capital.

About the Amendment Bill:

The bill was passed amid heavy criticism in both Houses. However, the central government maintained the clarification for passing the amended bill by stating that it will further define the responsibilities of the L-G and the elected government in Delhi in line with the Constitutional Schemes.

As Delhi enjoys the current status of the Union Territory because of the ‘Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991’, the amendment in the Act gives effect to the claim that the Government in Delhi means L-G appointed by the President of India.

Objection by the Delhi Government:

As the power struggle between the elected government and L-G persisted, it led to the passing of the amendment bill.

The State government had objected to the bill with an argument that it will take away the government’s autonomy in the state and along with it, the dream of complete statehood for Delhi.

Background:

President Ram Nath Kovind had given his assent to the bill on March 28, 2021. The bill was passed in the Parliament on March 24, amid a walkout by the opposition parties in Rajya Sabha.

The amended act clarifies that the term government in any law made by the Delhi Legislative assembly will mean L-G.



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