On the 27th of April this year, a new Law came to into force regarding the National Capital Territory of Delhi from the from the Union government, which for the nearly 2 crore population of city effectively means shrinkage of their Democratic scope.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, or simply NCT Amendment Act 2021 was introduced into the Lok Sabha by the Home Minister Amit Shah, was passed by the Rajya Sabha amid a walkout by the opposition on 24th March, and recieved the President’s assent on 28th March. On the passing of the Bill, the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Rajya Sabha passes GNCTD Amendment Bill. Sad day for Indian democracy. We will continue our struggle to restore power back to people. Whatever be the obstacles, we will continue doing good work. Work will neither stop nor slow down,”
The Act amends the NCT Act 1991, with the intention of improving the harmony between the centre and city governments. As per the amended act, the expression ‘Delhi Government’ referred to in any law to be made by the UT’s Legislative Assembly shall mean the Lieutenant Governor. The city government will now mandatorily have to take the opinion of the L-G before taking any executive action.
Delhi is one of the only three Union Territories which has its preservation has never been easy. The Legislative Assembly of Delhi was first constituted on 17 March 1952 under the Government of Part C States Act, 1951, but it was abolished on 1 October 1956. Its legislative assembly was re-established in the year of 1993, after the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991 came into force, followed by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 the Sixty-ninth Amendment to the Constitution of India, declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital Territory of Delhi.
The GNCTD Act was enacted in 1991 to “supplement provisions of the Constitution relating to the Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers for the National Capital Territory of Delhi”. It enabled the process of an elected government in Delhi. The Supreme Court had in the past appreciated the 1991 developments, stating that the real purpose behind the Constitution (69th Amendment) Act, 1991 is to establish a democratic set-up and representative form of government wherein the majority has a right to embody their opinions in laws and policies pertaining to the NCT of Delhi subject to the limitations imposed by the Constitution
Now, with the power again getting concentrated into the hands of the governor, who is an appointed representative instead of the chief minister who is an elected one, the people of the Union territory are in the danger of losing the Democratic rights they earned after so long. The Act also goes against the spirit of federalism which has found to be the unification factor for the country. Furthermore, this increases the already high amount of confusion that the people of city face when they wish to hold the administration accountable. Both the center and the state blame each other on issues where there is no clarity of responsibility, which happens very often. After the amendment Act, this confusion will almost certainly increase. Even in sectors with minimal confusion, the introduction of this act will definitely slow everything down and make basic processes more and more time consuming, as practically everything would have to go through the left in the governor first.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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