Delhi ordinance row: Controversial Bill undergoes amendment

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, aimed at replacing the contentious ordinance on the control of services and officers’ posting in Delhi, has undergone significant changes. The bill is set to be tabled in Parliament on July 31 by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and it has already been circulated among MPs reported Hindustan Times.

The Supreme Court had previously ruled in favour of the Delhi government on May 11, granting it control over services in the national capital, except for matters related to public order, land and police.

The May 19 ordinance was rolled in soon after the SC verdict, by the Centre to override a Supreme Court order that granted control over the transfer and appointments of bureaucrats to the elected government in Delhi.

The bill has sparked a massive face-off between the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government and the Centre. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has accused the BJP of attempting to subvert the rule of law and take over control of officers in the capital.

Also read: Delhi ordinance replacement bill passed by cabinet amid Opposition protests

Provisions removed

Three provisions have been removed from the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, reported HT. These include:

Removal of Section 3A

The provision that restricted the Delhi Assembly from enacting laws related to ‘State Public Services and State Public Service Commission’ has been omitted in the bill.

Section 3A, which was inserted through the ordinance, allowed the Legislative Assembly to make laws, has been removed from the bill. The bill focusses on Article 239AA, which empowers the Centre to establish the National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA).

The Section 3A of the ordinance stated, “Notwithstanding anything contained in any judgement, order or decree of any Court, the Legislative Assembly shall have the power to make laws as per Article 239AA except with respect to any matter enumerated in Entry 41 of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India or any matter connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

Article 239-AA(7)

The bill does not mention Article 239-AA(7), which was previously resorted to by the Centre to remove “services” from the elected government’s purview. The court had raised questions about this provision and framed two issues for a constitution bench’s judgment.

Also read: Delhi ordinance bill: Why YSR’s support is critical for govt to pass bill at Rajya Sabha?

Mandating annual report

Under the previous ordinance, the NCCSA was required to furnish an annual report of the National Capital Civil Service Authority in Parliament and Delhi Assembly. The bill, however, removes this requirement, eliminating the need for the report to be laid before Parliament and the Delhi assembly.

Placing orders/directions

The bill introduces changes to Section 45D, which deals with the appointment of chairpersons and members of various authorities, boards, commissions, and statutory bodies in Delhi. The provision mandating the placement of ‘orders/directions of ministers’ pertaining to proposals or matters were required to be referred to the central government before the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Minister of Delhi has also been omitted.

New provision added

The newly added provision in the bill states that the Lieutenant Governor will make appointments to Boards and Commissions constituted by the Delhi government based on a panel of names recommended by the National Capital Civil Service Authority, which includes the Chief Minister of Delhi. Boards or Commissions are made by the law enacted by Delhi assembly.

On July 20, the Supreme Court raised questions about Section 3A of the 2023 Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Ordinance, which granted the Centre control over the state’s bureaucracy. The court referred the matter to a Constitution bench consisting of five judges to examine the Delhi government’s challenge to the ordinance.

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Updated: 31 Jul 2023, 12:25 PM IST

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My Name is Arun Jain I have done B.Tech in Computer Science and currently working with Love to cook and write blogs . Cook-eat-blog-cook-eat-blog.............