Centre To Make All Rules Related To Bureaucrats, Says Delhi Services Bill

Centre To Make All Rules Related To Bureaucrats, Says Delhi Services Bill

In case of a difference of opinion, the decision of the Lieutenant Governor will be final.

New Delhi:

The bill that would replace the Delhi Services ordinance – giving the Centre control over the postings and transfers of Delhi bureaucrats — contains three key changes one of which offers some respite to the Delhi assembly in terms of legislation. A key portion that prevented the assembly from creating laws on “State Public Services and State Public Service Commission” has been removed. The powers granted to the Lieutenant Governor to appoint chiefs of all bodies, boards and corporations has also been curbed. He will now deal only with bodies set up through an act of parliament.

The bill, which had become a huge political flashpoint between the government and the opposition, has been tabled in parliament today. The debate on it is due tomorrow.

The Opposition — unitedly opposing the bill through the efforts of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal,  — is fighting the bill tooth and nail.

But the government, which is already in a comfortable position in the upper house, can now count on the support of Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal and Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress. The BJD, which was expected to back the bill, formally announced its decision today.

The proposed bill, a copy of which is with NDTV, has some significant omissions as compared to the ordinance brought on May 19.

The Section 3A, which was part of the Ordinance, has been removed completely.  With this section, the Ordinance removed the Delhi Assembly’s powers to make laws related to services
Provisions under another Section — 45 D of the Ordinance – has been diluted. This Section is related to the appointments made for Boards, Commissions, authorities and other statutory bodies.

The ordinance provided the LG/President with exclusive powers to make appointments to or nominate members/ chairperson of all bodies, boards, corporations. The proposed bill provides this power to the LG/President only with regards to bodies/boards/commissions set up through an act of parliament.

The Ordinance was brought in by the Central government on May 19, days after the Supreme Court declared that the elected government is the boss of Delhi and its powers will extend over everything except police, public order and land. It was a huge relief for the Arvind Kejriwal government, which has been at loggerheads with the Centre — and its representative, the Lieutenant Governor — over the control of the national capital ever since it came to power in 2015 with a huge mandate.

The Aam Aadmi Party declared that the Centre had “deceived” the people of Delhi with the introduction of the Ordinance. It also argued that if a precedent is set in Delhi, no elected government is safe.

Mr Kejriwal himself, along with party colleague and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, had visited most non-BJP ruled states and met opposition leaders, seeking their support to oppose the legislation.

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