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Delhi High Court Seeks Centre's Response On Pleas Challenging GNCTD Amendment Act Enhancing Powers Of Delhi LG

Akshita Saxena
23 July 2021 12:51 PM GMT
Delhi High Court Seeks Centres Response On Pleas Challenging GNCTD Amendment Act Enhancing Powers Of Delhi LG
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Delhi High Court on Friday granted time to the Central Government to file its reply on a batch of petitions challenging the vires of GNCTD Amendment Act, 2021 which purportedly enhances the powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.A division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh allowed the request made by Advocate Ajay Digpaul, seeking some time to file...

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Delhi High Court on Friday granted time to the Central Government to file its reply on a batch of petitions challenging the vires of GNCTD Amendment Act, 2021 which purportedly enhances the powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh allowed the request made by Advocate Ajay Digpaul, seeking some time to file Centre's response. The matter has been for hearing on September 13.

The development comes on petitions filed by Vishwanath Agarwal, a practicing Advocate; Shrikant Prasad, a law student and one Neeraj Sharma. All the pleas have been tagged together.

During the hearing, Advocate KC Agarwal appearing for the first Petitioner informed the Court that he has filed an application for stay of the impugned Amendment Act, which came into force on April 28, 2021.

However, the same was declined by the Chief Justice stating that the Court would like to peruse the Centre's reply first.

The plea filed by Vishwanath Agarwal 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 Government of NCT of Delhi irrespective of the facts whether the matter pertains to Land, Police, Services or any other matter. To this extent the Government 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."

The petition filed by Shrikant Prasad, petitioner-in-person, highlights that the impugned Act curbs the Delhi Assembly's power to conduct its proceedings as per the rules of procedure made by it.

"It provides that the Rules made by the Delhi Legislative Assembly to regulate the procedure and of business the Assembly must be in conduct consistent with the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Loksabha," the plea states.

It further avers,

"The Act also prohibits the Legislative Assembly from making any rule to enable itself for its Committees to: (i) consider the matters of day-to-day administration of the NCT of Delhi and inquiry (ii) conduct relation in to any administrative decisions."

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