Lieutenant Governor to now have last word on Delhi administration

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 28, 2021

Home Ministry notifies April 27 as implementation date of new law; LG opinion a must for administrative action

The Centre has now notified April 27 as the implementation date for the recently enacted law — National Capital Territory of Delhi (amendment) Act 2021 — that enhanced the powers of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi while limiting the elected government’s powers in some respects.

Besides redefining “Government” in the laws passed by the Legislative Assembly of Delhi to mean the “Lieutenant Governor”, the new law stipulated that the opinion of the LG has to be sought for any executive action.

It may be recalled that the recently enacted law, which came in for a lot of criticism from the ruling Aam Admi Party, clearly stated that the expression “government” will mean Lieutenant Governor in laws made by the Legislative Assembly.

The Aam Aadmi Party contended that the Bill (which has now become a law) was contrary to the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in the power tussle between the Delhi government and the Central government.

Parliament passes GNCT Bill

The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act 2021 was passed by Parliament in March 2021.

While enacting this law, the Centre had said that the amendment was brought to give effect to the interpretation made by the Supreme Court on Government of NCT of Delhi V Union of India.

The statement of objects of the Act stated that it seeks to ensure that the Lieutenant Governor is necessarily granted an opportunity to exercise the power entrusted to him under proviso to clause (4) of Article 239AA of the Constitution, in a select category of cases.

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Special provisions

It may be noted that Article 239AA deals with special provisions that are applicable to the National Capital Territory of Delhi and which would govern its functioning.

The Act sought to ensure that the Lieutenant Governor can make rules in matters which, incidentally, encroach upon matters falling outside the purview of the Legislative Assembly.

It also states that the Act will promote harmonious relations between the legislature and the executive and further define the responsibilities of the elected Government and the Lieutenant Governor, in line with the constitutional scheme of governance of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

Published on April 28, 2021

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