New Delhi, August 12
President Droupadi Murmu today gave her assent to the Government of NCT Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2023, the Bill which would replace the contentious Delhi Services Ordinance on the control of administrative services in Delhi, which has drawn stiff resistance from several Opposition parties during the monsoon session.
According to officials, the law would be deemed to have been in effect since May 19, the day the Ordinance was promulgated.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill on August 7, with 131 votes in its favour and 102 votes against it. Earlier, the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill through a voice vote on August 3. The Delhi Government and the L-G have been at loggerheads over the control of bureaucracy in the national capital and have fought several rounds of litigation in the Supreme Court.
The new law has overturned the Supreme Court ruling that the Delhi Government has control over administrative services except for public order, police and land. But the court had declared in its judgment that the Parliament would have powers to legislate on matters mentioned in the concurrent and state lists with regard to the NCT of Delhi.
Now, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs will frame rules under the law and issue a notification to set up a National Capital Civil Service Authority to take decisions with respect to the transfer, postings and control of civil servants.
The Authority will be headed by the Delhi Chief Minister and will comprise the Delhi NCT’s Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary. It can make recommendations to the L-G regarding transfers and postings of all Group A and DANICS officers serving in the Delhi Government, barring officers handling matters related to public order, land and police.
The Authority can also make recommendations to the L-G regarding Vigilance and non-Vigilance matters for the purpose of initiation of disciplinary proceedings and grant of prosecution sanction in relation to the above officers.
However, according to the law, the L-G will be the final authority. In case of any difference of opinion, the L-G’s decision will prevail.
In relation to the bodies created under Delhi Legislative Assembly Rules, the Authority shall recommend a panel for constitution or appointment or nomination by the L-G.
The Delhi Government had challenged the Ordinance in the Supreme Court and on July 20, the apex court refused to stay it and referred the matter to a Constitution Bench.
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