‘Centre encroaching upon Delhi Assembly’s power’: AAP moves SC against GNCTD Act


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Delhi government on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash the four amended sections of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act, said sources.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government claims that the amendments to the Act have violated the basic structure of the Constitution. The city government in its petition has challenged the constitutionality of sections 21, 24, 33, 44 of the GNCTD Act, 1991 and some other rules.

Earlier, the BJP-led Centre had made amendments to the law that governs the administration of Delhi, which was vehemently opposed by the AAP government.

In 2016, similar disputes and differences arose between the L-G and the Delhi government in respect of powers, duties and governance. Consequently the matter was taken to court, where the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court held that the Council of Ministers shall inform all its decisions to the L-G but the concurrence of the L-G was not required.

But in March this year, the central government introduced the GNCTD Act Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha which received the assent of the President and became the GNCTD (Amendment) Act 2021, on March 28, 2021.

AAP contended in the petition that amended sections of the Act diminish the constitutionally guaranteed powers and functions of the elected legislative assembly and council of ministers of Delhi. 

“Amendments by the Centre are an attempt to treat the L-G as the default administering authority over the NCT of Delhi, by equating the position of the L-G with that of the government, by authorising the L-G to withhold consent to bills that may be ‘incidentally’ outside the scope of the legislative assembly’s powers,” said the government in the petition.

According to the government, the new laws encroach upon the scope of the Delhi legislative assembly’s core functions.

“The provisions inserted by the Act violate the principles of separation of powers and representative democracy, which are essential features of the Constitution,” the petition stated. 

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