Despite the continuing tussle between the Centre and the Aam Admi Party, a bill brought by the AAP government in Delhi proposing amendments to the Working Journalists Act that envisages imprisonment upto one year and penalty extending to Rs 10,000 for any violations is expected to see the light of the day soon. The Union Home Ministry has sent the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015 to the Law Ministry for legal vetting. Once the Law Ministry gives a green signal, the bill can become a law.
The bill seeks to address the "shortcomings" in providing adequate compensation and strengthens the penal provision in cases of non-adherence to the Act particularly non-payment of the due wages to an employee.
However, as far as the fourfold hike in salaries of AAP MLAs and ministers is concerned, the ball is back in the court of the Delhi government with the Home Ministry returning five legislative proposals. The ministry asked the Delhi government to justify such a hike and explain how they arrived at the formula for the proposed hike.
Other pending legislations are also caught in the cross hairs with an unrelenting Kejriwal government refusing to change the definition of "Delhi government", which it describes as elected government of Delhi instead of the Lieutenant governor as per the home ministry's interpretation of the GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) Act. The Netaji Subhash University of Technology Bill, 2015 and The Delhi (Right of Citizens to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015 have also been returned to the delhi government owing to these differences.
The fresh confrontation between the MHA and Kejriwal government had begun after 17 bills and legislative proposals which were cleared by the AAP government landed on the desk of the Home Ministry earlier this year for clearance after a year-long tussle.