President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday gave his assent to a bill that gives primacy to Delhi's Lieutenant Governor (L-G) over the elected government. The Parliament had earlier approved the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, after uproar by the opposition who had termed it 'unconstitutional'.
The GNCTD Bill seeks to clarify that the "government" in Delhi means the "Lieutenant Governor". The Delhi government will now have to seek the opinion of the lieutenant governor before any executive action.
The Delhi assembly can make laws on all subjects in the state list and concurrent list except public order, police and land. The new bill says: "When a bill has been passed by the legislative assembly, it shall be presented to the lieutenant governor and the lieutenant governor shall declare either that he assents to the bill or that he withholds assent therefrom or that he reserves the bill for the consideration of the president...”
The bill stats that the legislative assembly shall not make any rule to enable itself or its committees to consider the matters of the day-to-day administration of the national capital or conduct inquiries in relation to the administrative decisions.
"Any of the rule made in contravention of this proviso, before the commencement of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, shall be void," it says.
The Aam Admi Party had said that it would continue to struggle to restore power to Delhiites and approach the Supreme Court against the legislation. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had even termed it as a "sad day for Indian democracy".
(With PTI inputs)