Delhi Govt challenges GNCTD Act Amendments in Supreme Court

Aanchal Agarwal-

Published on: September 15, 2021 at 16:16 IST

The Delhi Government challenged the Amendments made to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act in the Supreme Court which gave greater powers to the Lieutenant Governor(LG).

The Petition filed by the Government stated that the changes made violated the basic structure of the Constitution and also diminished the powers which are guaranteed to the elected Legislative Assembly and Council of Ministers of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.

The Amendment made also overruled the 2018 Judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Government of NCT of Delhi v Union of India.

The Judgement made by the Constitution Bench in 2018 stated that the provisions of Article 239A including those listing the powers and functions of the Lieutenant Governor must be considered concerning the constitutional commitment to federalism and representative democracy.

The Bench also interpreted Article 239AA of the Indian Constitution to place restrictions on the power of the LG, to ensure that the default situation would remain that of democracy with an elected legislature and a responsible executive, while a certain space was set aside for exceptional situations, where the LG would be required to play a limited role.

The Delhi Government’s Petition argued, “The provisions impermissibly encroach upon the scope of the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s core legislative functions by interfering with the power of the Assembly to build its own rules of business or to hold the executive to account, a core function of any legislature”.

The Plea also added that principles of federalism, democracy and separation of power are being violated by this amendment to the act by attempting to treat the Lieutenant Governor as the default administering authority over the NCT of Delhi or by equating the position of the LG with that of the government.

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