Parliament Passes Delhi Act Amid Oppn Walkout

Parliament on Wednesday passed a bill which entails that the term “government” referred to in any law made by the Delhi legislative assembly will imply Lieutenant Governor.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday after a walkout by Congress, AAP and other opposition parties.
Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy replied to the debate on the bill which was earlier passed by Lok Sabha.

Congress and other opposition parties strongly opposed the bill and some of them demanded that it should be sent to a select committee.

Reddy said the bill aims at promoting harmonious relations between the legislature and the executive in the national capital and seeks to remove ambiguities.

He said the Bill is neither aimed at taking away the powers of the elected government of Delhi nor give additional powers to the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital.

The opposition members earlier resorted to sloganeering and forced two brief adjournments of the House.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the bill should be referred to a select committee of the House.

“I demand that the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 be sent to select committee,” he said.

Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh said the bill has been brought as BJP has twice lost elections in Delhi which AAP won. “I seek justice for the 2 crore people of Delhi, for 130 crore Indians, to seek justice from all members to save Constitution. I am telling all members – we’ll be here only if Constitution is there,” he said.

The bill seeks to amend the National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991,

The statement of objects and reasons of the bill says it seeks to clarify the expression “Government”, which in the context of legislation to be passed by the Legislative Assembly of Delhi, shall mean the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, consistent with the status of Delhi as a Union territory “to address the ambiguities in the interpretation of the legislative provisions”.

It says that the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 was enacted to supplement the provisions of the Constitution relating to the Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers for the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Section 44 of the Act deals with the conduct of business and “there is no structural mechanism provided in the Act for effective time-bound implementation of the section”. “Further, there is no clarity as to what proposal or matters are required to be submitted to Lieutenant Governor,” it says. (ANI)

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