Millennium Post

Amended GNCTD Act 'disenfranchised' Delhiites, SC told

New Delhi: The amended GNCTD Act and the Transaction of Business Rules have disenfranchised Delhiites, and violated the principle of federalism by diminishing the constitutionally guaranteed powers and functions of the elected legislative assembly and the council of ministers, the Delhi government has told the Supreme Court in its petition.

The Delhi government, in its plea through Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, has sought quashing of the four amended sections of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act and 13 Rules of the Transaction of Business of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Rules, 1993 on various grounds such as they violated the doctrine of basic structure, separation of power as the Lt Governor has been bestowed with more authority.

A bench headed by Chief justice N V Ramana on Monday assured the Delhi

government that it will soon order listing of the writ petition of the Aam Aadmi Party-led government for hearing.

The Delhi government, instead of going to the High Court, straightaway knocked the doors of the top court this time alleging that the amended provisions violated the five-judge bench judgement on the Delhi-Centre power row.

In the 2018 judgement, the Constitution bench had unanimously held that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is

bound by the aid and advice of the elected government and both needed to work harmoniously with each other.

The petition, which has made the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Law Ministry as parties, said, the Amendment Act has in effect disenfranchised the people of Delhi, and violated their political rights under the Constitution. For these reasons, it is respectfully submitted that the impugned Provisions contravene both Article 239AA of the Constitution, and the judgment of this Court in Govt of NCT of Delhi versus Union of India .

The provisions inserted by the Amendment Act which are impugned herein violate the principles of federalism, separation of powers, representative democracy, and the rule of law, which are essential features of the Constitution. Therefore, the Amendment Act violates the Basic Structure of the Constitution, it said.

The provisions diminish the constitutionally guaranteed powers and functions of the elected legislative assembly and council of ministers of the NCT of Delhi, overturn the constitutionally stipulated balance between the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Government, and impermissibly overrule the judgment of the Constitution Bench of this Court , the plea said.

Referring the changes made in the law and Rules, the plea said they impermissibly encroach on the scope of the Delhi Legislative Assembly's core legislative functions by interfering with the power of the Assembly to frame its own rules of business or to hold the executive to account, a core function of any legislature.

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