MHA notifies law: LG now Delhi’s effective in-charge
Centre has now notified law under which Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor will be effective in charge of the national capital. With this it is clear that Delhi’s elected government will have to seek permission from the LG before passing any executive decision.
The Union Home Ministry announced notification as extension to Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021. The decision came on Tuesday night amid catastrophic state of Covid-19 second wave in Delhi as it battles out medical oxygen supply and shortage of beds. MHA’s (Ministry of Home Affairs) notification brings the Act into effect from April 27, 2021.
Three key pillars of Delhi’s machinery – police, land and public order – are already under control of Central government. City’s elected government has sectors under its umbrella including health, education, agriculture, transport and forest.
The legislation now puts “government” of Delhi as “Lieutenant Governor”.
The notification signed by Govind Mohan, additional secretary, MHA states, “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act 2021 (15 of 2021), the Central Government hereby appoints the 27th April 2021 as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force.”
The Act notification comes at a point when Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi government is at receiving end over gross incompetence in handling pandemic and scarcity of oxygen, essential medicines and hospital beds for Covid-19 patients. Black marketing of oxygen cylinders and medicines in Delhi and failure of Kejriwal government to keep a check on it was taken down strictly by Delhi HC.
The bill about LG taking Delhi high command was passed in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in March. The development was criticized by Arvind Kejriwal who called it “sad day for Indian democracy”.
Defense of bill stated, “The said bill will promote harmonious relations between the legislature and the executive, and further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the L-G, in line with the constitutional scheme of governance of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, as interpreted by the Supreme Court.”
“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 said.