Centre brings ordinance on control of services in Delhi

20 May, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

Delhi National

The Union govt issued an ordinance on Friday to notify rules for the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi concerning 'transfer posting, vigilance, and other incidental matters'.

The Union government issued an ordinance on Friday to notify rules for the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) concerning ‘transfer posting, vigilance, and other incidental matters’.
The ordinance was introduced to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, and it skirts the Supreme Court’s decision in the Centre vs Delhi case.

The Ministry of Law and Justice stated in the notification, “In view of its special status as a national capital, a scheme of administration has to be formulated by Parliamentary law, to balance both local and national democratic interests which are at stake, which would reflect the aspirations of the people through joint and collective responsibility of both the Government of India and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (hereinafter referred to as GNCTD)”.

The Centre has passed an ordinance to establish the ‘National Capital Civil Services Authority’ in Delhi. This group includes Delhi’s Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, and Home Secretary. They will now make a decision on the transfer and posting of Group ‘A’ officers and DANICS officers working for the Delhi government.

“With a view to give effect to the intent and purpose behind the provisions of Article 239AA, a permanent authority headed by the democratically elected Chief Minister of Delhi along with Chief Secretary, GNCTD the head of the administration representing the will of the officers of GNCTD and the Principal Secretary Home, GNCTD is being introduced to make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor regarding matters concerning transfer posting, vigilance and other incidental matters,” the notification stated.

It added, “This would statutorily balance the interest of the nation with the interest of Union Territory of Delhi in the administration of the capital by giving purposeful meaning to the manifestation of democratic will of people reposed both in the Central Government as well as the GNCTD”.

The Ministry further notified that in case of “difference of opinion” between the Lieutenant Governor and the Delhi government, the decision of the LG shall be “final”.

“The Lieutenant Governor, after the receipt of such recommendation under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of this section, may pass appropriate orders giving effect to the recommendation made: Provided that the Lieutenant Governor, before passing appropriate orders on such recommendation, may ask for any relevant material regarding the Group ‘A’ officers, including the officers of the All India Services and DANICS, serving in the affairs of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi,” the notification stated.

It added, “Provided further that in case the Lieutenant Governor differs with the recommendation made, whether based upon the material so called for or otherwise, the Lieutenant Governor may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, return the recommendation to the Authority for reconsideration by the Authority: Provided also that in case of difference of opinion, the decision of the Lieutenant Governor shall be final”.

Notably, this comes just days after a unanimous Supreme Court Constitution bench ruled that the Delhi government must have control over services, and the Lieutenant Governor is bound by that decision.

According to the court, the Delhi government, like the governments of other states, represents a representative form of government, and any further expansion of the Union’s power would be contrary to the Constitutional scheme.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed concern that the central government would issue an ordinance to “overturn or reverse” the Supreme Court ruling.