Delhi HC seeks Centre's reply on plea against NCT Amendment Act
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response from Centre on a plea seeking direction to strike down the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Amendment Act, which increases powers of the Lieutenant Governor.
The plea has been filed by a law student Skrikant Prasad claiming the Act, which came into force on April 27, "re-defines Delhi government as the Lt Governor". The plea argued that the Act curbs the Delhi Assembly's power to conduct proceedings.
A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh issued notices to the ministries of law and home affairs and sought their response in the matter.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma and central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul accepted the notice on behalf of the ministries.
Prasad in his plea contended, "Further, the Act provides that the opinion of the LG must be obtained before taking any executive action on decisions of the Delhi government, on such matters as may be specified by the LG."
Prasad in the plea has argued the provisions in the Act runs contrary to various fundamental rights and Article 239AA of the Constitution. Article 239AA of the Constitution, among other things, provides that LG would be the administrative head of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
The plea further contended that Act will allegedly increase the suffering of people of the national capital, amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis, in connection with shortage in supply of oxygen, essential medicines and beds.
The petitioner argued that provisions of the Act are in contrast with the Supreme Court order on the powers of LG and the Delhi government. He added that the top court had said that the LG would be bound by aid and advice of Council of Ministers except in matters of land, police and public order.