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Delhi High Court Issues Notice In Another Plea Challenging Vires Of GNCTD Act Enhancing Powers Of Delhi LG

Nupur Thapliyal
18 May 2021 2:14 PM GMT
Delhi High Court Issues Notice In Another Plea Challenging Vires Of GNCTD Act Enhancing Powers Of Delhi LG
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice in another plea challenging the vires of GNCTD Act, 2021 enhancing powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi as being unconstitutional.A division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to Union of India and Delhi LG which is returnable on June 4.The plea filed by Vishwanath Agarwal, a practicing Advocate...

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice in another plea challenging the vires of GNCTD Act, 2021 enhancing powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi as being unconstitutional.

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to Union of India and Delhi LG which is returnable on June 4.

The plea filed by Vishwanath Agarwal, a practicing Advocate and moved by Advocate KC Aggarwal states that the aforesaid enactment runs contrary to the judgment of the Apex Court in NCT of Delhi v. Union of India and also to the "principle of Republican and Democratic System" as elucidated in Keshvananda Bharti case.

Stating that Art. 239AA of the Constitution gives an overriding Authority to the Delhi LG only in matters of land, police and services, the plea avers thus:

"The impugned Act has gone much beyond and applies to all legislations to be passed by Legislative Assembly of Governmnent of NCT of Delhi irrespective of the facts whether the matter pertains to Land, Police, Services or any other matter. To this extent the Govemment of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021 is ultra-virus the Constitution and goes beyond what is permitted even as per the decision of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Government of NCT of Delhi Vs. Union of India and others (2018)SCC 501."

Furthermore, the plea states that the aforesaid Act does not make any distinction between matters pertaining to Land, Police, and Services, and, therefore "different portions of the impugned enactment are not severable."

Stating that to have a republican and democratic system of government is part of Right to life as enshrined under Art. 21 of the Constitution, the plea states thus:

"The term "Government" in the impugned legislation has been laid down to mean Lt. Governor in all matters and is not confined to the matters pertaining to Land, Police, and Services. In view thereof the impugned enactment is violative of Article 239 AA of the Constitution of India."

In a similar development, the same bench earlier this month issued notice in a plea filed by law student namely Shrikant Prasad challenging the validity of the Act by highlighting that the impugned Act curbs the Delhi Assembly's power to conduct its proceedings as per the rules of procedure made by it. 

The Central Government had on April 28 notified the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi(Amendment) Act 2021, which enhances the powers of Lieutenant Governor of Delhi over the elected government of Delhi, with effect from April 27.

The law gives sweeping powers to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi by declaring him to be the "Government of Delhi". It also provides that the opinion of the LG "shall be obtained" on all such matters as may be specified by the LG, before taking any executive action on decisions of the Council of Ministers of the Delhi Government.

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