Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 Tabled in Lok Sabha
On 1st August 2023, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha. The bill aims to replace the contentious Ordinance on the control of services in the national capital. Various Members of Parliament (MPs) including Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, N. K. Premachandran, Asaduddin Owaisi, and Shashi Tharoor opposed and questioned the bill. Today, the Lok Sabha will take up the bill for consideration and passing.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s Remarks
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury rose to express his opposition to the introduction of the bill, stating that it vindicates the outrageous infringement of the government upon the territory of the state. He argued that the bill is designed in a way that undermines the principles of cooperative federalism and resembles digging up a graveyard. According to him, the state should have rights over the subject, but the centre is exercising overriding powers, which he condemned.
Revolutionist Socialist Party MP N. K. Premachandran questioned the legislative competence of Lok Sabha over the bill. He expressed his concern over the passing of the bill, stating that if it gets approved, the government in Delhi would lose its significance. He emphasized that the bill aims to strip the elected government of its legislative powers by empowering bureaucrats, which is in violation of Article 239AA of the Indian Constitution. Moreover, he pointed out that the bill would override the decisions of the Supreme Court. Moreover, he also emphasized that this bill is against the federalistic characteristics of India.
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi highlighted that the bill violates Article 123 of the Indian Constitution. Similarly, he also emphasized that the bill violated the separation of powers theory. Moreover, he also said that the House does not have legislative competence.
Shashi Tharoor’s Remarks
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor highlighted that the bill violates federal democracy, undermines the Delhi government, overrides the Supreme Court order, and infringes representative democracy.
While speaking to the reporters, Tharoor said that a brief introduction on the Delhi (NCT) Ordinance Bill was conducted, with no subsequent debate. Several members of the opposition exercised their right to oppose the introduction, and around five to six opposition members attempted to express their dissent.
He also added that during the proceedings, it was noteworthy that one party from the opposition extended its support to the government. However, other members asserted that the bill is unlawful and the government is engaging in unconstitutional actions, as stated by Shashi Tharoor. The atmosphere in the Parliament reflected the division of opinions regarding the Bill, with some members expressing their reservations and concerns over its implications on the governance and functioning of Delhi. The lack of a comprehensive debate during the introduction stage indicates that the discussions on this Bill might intensify during subsequent stages when a more thorough examination of its provisions will take place. As the deliberations continue, it remains to be seen how different stakeholders will engage with the issues raised by the Bill and whether any amendments or modifications will be proposed to address the concerns expressed by the opposition.
Amit Shah’s Remarks while Tabling the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023
The Union Home Minister Amit Shah highlighted that the Lok Sabha holds the constitutional authority to enact laws concerning the state of Delhi. During his address in the Lok Sabha while tabling the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, Amit Shah emphasized that the Constitution has vested upon the House (Lok Sabha) the power to pass legislation concerning Delhi. He further pointed out that the Supreme Court’s ruling has clarified that Parliament has the jurisdiction to introduce any law related to Delhi. Shah categorically stated that objections raised against the bill are of a political nature rather than a constitutional one.
Following a brief discussion on the matter, the bill, intended to replace the existing ordinance on the control of services in Delhi, was formally introduced in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The introduction of the bill marks the beginning of a significant legislative process that will involve detailed examination, debates, and discussions among the members of the Lok Sabha and other stakeholders.
Lok Sabha is likely to witness a stormy session today as the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 is set to be taken for consideration and passing.
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