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Explained: What is the GNCTD Bill

New Delhi, Mar 25: The Rajya Sabha has approved the bill giving primacy to Delhi's Lieutenant Governor (L-G) over the elected government after high drama in the House that saw uproar by the opposition and a walkout by MPs of parties like the BJD, SP, Congress and the YSR-Congress.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that seeks to make it clear that the "government" in Delhi means the "Lieutenant Governor" was passed by Lok Sabha on March 22.

Explained: What is the GNCTD Bill

According to the bill, the "government" in the city would mean the "Lieutenant Governor" (L-G) in context of any law made by the legislative assembly.

The bill also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the LG before any executive action.

According to proposed amendments, Section 21 of the Act -- dealing with restrictions on laws passed by legislative assembly with respect to certain matters -- is sought to be revised to clarify that the expression ''government'' referred to in any law to be made by the legislative assembly shall mean the ''Lieutenant Governor''.

Replying to the debate, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy sought to dispel the concerns of the opposition members saying the amendments in the Act would create a sound government mechanism in the NCT of Delhi.

He said it will improve equity and inclusiveness. The amendment will lead to transparency and clarity in governance in NCT Delhi and enhance public accountability, he added.

Explaining the rationale behind the bill, he said the amendments have been brought to remove ambiguities in the 1991 Act. He stressed that changes in the law have been sought in the spirit of what has been said in the Supreme Court judgement. He asserted there was no political angle and the amendments are on "technical" grounds.

According to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the original bill was enacted to supplement the provisions of the Constitution relating to the legislative assembly and a Council of Ministers for Delhi and for matters connected therewith.

It said that to give effect to the interpretation made by the Supreme Court which had ruled that the city government need not obtain the Lieutenant Governor's "concurrence" of every issue of day-to-day governance, the bill has been brought.

"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," the statement of objects said.

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