New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh on Tuesday wrote to Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu opposing the introduction of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in the Upper House, saying the bill violates the provisions of the Constitution of India.
The bill, which was introduced in the Parliament last week — three years after a constitution bench of the Supreme Court ruled on the dispute between Delhi’s ruling AAP government and the Lieutenant Governor, was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday. Singh, in his letter, said that the legislative assembly in Delhi was set up following the 69th amendment to the Constitution of India with the insertion of Article 239 (AA) in the Constitution.
As opposed to this, a proposed amendment in the bill being sought to be introduced in the House states in section 21 of the GNCTD Act 1991, a new sub-section be added: “The expression Government referred to in any law to be made by the Legislative Assembly shall mean the Lieutenant Governor”, said the AAP leader.
“This proposed amendment goes against the Constitutional provision since Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to the assembly and this bill states that the expression government means LG — therefore this bill violates the Constitution since the LG cannot be responsible to the legislative assembly, therefore, this bill cannot be introduced in the House.”
The legislative assembly for the National Capital Territory of Delhi was provided for by the 69th Constitutional amendment and no change can be made in it by means of a simple bill as this violates the Constitution of India, the AAP MP further said.
“Therefore, I oppose the introduction of the bill on the above-mentioned grounds and appeal to you to direct the government to withdraw the bill which violates Constitutional provisions and violates these provisions,” he added.
The bill, passed by the Lok Sabha, seeks to amend the National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991.
The statement of objects and reasons of the bill states that the bill 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 said.