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LG is now in charge of Delhi, MHA notifies law

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New Delhi: The lieutenant governor of Delhi has become effective in charge of the national capital, with the Center notifying a new law making it clear that the city’s elected government will now have to seek the opinion of the LG before any executive decision. Notification from the Union Home Office giving effect to Delhi National Capital Territory Government Law (Amendment) 2021 arrived on Tuesday evening as the city battles a fierce wave of COVID-19 and that his health care system is strained to the breaking point.

The provisions of the law entered into force on April 27, according to the notification issued by the Ministry of the Interior (MHA). Three key topics in Delhi – law and order, police and land – are already in the hands of the central government while sectors such as health, education, agriculture, forestry and transport fall under government control from the city.

The MHA notification seals the primacy accorded to LG, a central government candidate, in law. The Delhi government will now have to obtain LG’s permission before taking action on matters that were within its purview. By law, Delhi “government” now means “lieutenant governor”. << In the exercise of the powers conferred by subsection (2) of article 1 of the law 2021 (15 of 2021) of the government of the territory of the national capital of Delhi (amendment), the central government appoints by this is April 27, 2021 the date that the provisions of the said law come into force, ”stated the notification signed by the additional secretary of the MHA, Govind Mohan.

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The act was notified at a time when the Center and the Delhi government led by Arvind Kejriwal are under the spotlight on managing the pandemic and the resulting shortage of oxygen, hospital beds and essential medicines. . The Delhi High Court on Tuesday severely criticized the AAP government for its “failure” to control the black marketing of oxygen cylinders and essential drugs needed by COVID-19 patients.

If the state cannot handle the situation, it will ask the central government to take over the gas filling units because it cannot let people die, the court said. When the bill was passed by parliament last month – in Lok Sabha on March 22 and in Rajya Sabha on March 24 – Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called it “a sad day for Indian democracy “.

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“This bill will promote harmonious relations between the legislature and the executive, and further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the LG, in accordance with the constitutional scheme of governance of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. ”, Stated the communication of the objects and reasons of the bill.

“When a bill has been passed by the legislature, it is presented to the lieutenant governor and the lieutenant governor declares that he either approves the bill, or that he retains the assent or that he reserves the bill for the consideration of the President … ”, said the bill.

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The Center argued it was in line with the July 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the scope of powers of the lieutenant governor and the Delhi government after a series of feuds between the two. Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said when tabling the bill in parliament that the amendments would lead to transparency and clarity of governance in Delhi NCT and strengthen public accountability.

The minister said that Delhi is not a full state and does not have full power and that the executive powers of the LG of Delhi are different from the powers of the state governors. Explaining the rationale for the bill, he said the changes had been made to remove ambiguities from the existing law and stressed that changes to the law had been sought in the spirit of what was said. in a Supreme Court judgment.

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The Aam Aadmi party has said it plans to contact the Supreme Court against the legislation, describing it as an “unconstitutional” attempt to render the Delhi government “administratively impotent” by a political party made “electorally impotent” by the inhabitants of the national capital. .

Congress, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, DMK and other opposition parties also called the bill “unconstitutional” and claimed it would fail judicial review. As the city of Delhi, seat of central government facing inherent problems given the multiplicity of powers, opens a new chapter in governance, the number of Covid cases continues to skyrocket. On Tuesday, the city recorded a record 381 deaths from COVID-19 and 24,149 new cases with a positivity rate of 32.72%, according to the city’s health department.

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