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What Supreme Court said about the history of Delhi

By Oneindia Staff Writer
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    New Delhi, July 5: The Supreme Court which delivered a landmark verdict on the powers of Delhi government and the LG, also dealt with the over a century old history of the city since it became the capital of India in December 1911.

    What Supreme Court said about the history of Delhi

    It was during the British rule in 1911 when India's capital was shifted from Calcutta to Delhi which was headed by a commissioner and the city came to be known as the Chief Commissioner's province.

    A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra discussed the history of Delhi in its 534-page judgement.

    When the Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950, Delhi became a Part C State and in 1951, a law was enacted for a Legislative Assembly in Delhi.

    An amendment in the Constitution was passed on October 19, 1956 to implement the provisions of the States Re organization Act, 1956 to do away with Parts A, B, C and D States.

    Only two categories -- states and union territories -- remained then and Delhi became a Union Territory (UT) to be administered by an administrator appointed by the President.

    The Legislative Assembly of Delhi and the Council of Ministers also stood abolished.

    Later, the Government of Union Territories Act, 1963 was enacted to provide for legislative assemblies and council of ministers for various UTs but the provisions of the Act were not made applicable to Delhi.

    The purpose of enacting the Delhi Administration Act, 1966 was to provide a limited representative Government for Delhi through a Metropolitan Council comprising 56 elected members and five nominated members.

    On August 20, 1966, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order that the Lieutenant Governor/Administrator/Chief Commissioner shall be subject to the control of the President and exercise such powers and discharge the functions of a State Government under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 within the UTs.

    The Balakrishnan Committee was set up in 1987 to submit its recommendations on the status to be conferred on Delhi. The report studied different aspects connected with the administration of Delhi as the national capital.

    The committee recommended that Delhi should continue to be a UT but there must be a Legislative Assembly and a Council of Ministers responsible to the Assembly with appropriate powers.

    It also said that in order to ensure stability, appropriate constitutional measures should be taken to confer the National Capital a "special status".

    It was in 1991, that the 69th amendment was done in the Constitution and Articles 239AA (special provisions with respect to Delhi) and 239AB (provision in case of failure of constitutional machinery) were inserted.

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