Centre’s Ordinance on Delhi Services

 Centre’s Ordinance on Delhi Services

 Centre’s Ordinance on Delhi Services

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “ Centre’s Ordinance on Delhi Services”. The topic “ Centre’s Ordinance on Delhi Services” has relevance in the Polity section for the UPSC CSE exam.

Relevance of the topic “e-Vidhan”

For Prelims:
About Article 239AA

For Mains:
GS 2: Polity and Governance
What is the background of the issue?
What did the Supreme Court say in its verdict?
Way Forward

Why in the news?

The Central government has issued an ordinance to modify the Supreme Court’s recent verdict, which granted the Delhi government authority over administrative services in the national capital.

What is the background of the issue?

The President of India has promulgated an ordinance to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991. 

  • Powers to LG: The ordinance grants additional powers to the Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) regarding administrative services in the national capital.
  • Creation of a  new body: The ordinance has created a new entity called the National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA).
    • The Chief Minister of Delhi will head the authority, and the Chief Secretary and Principal Home Secretary of Delhi will serve as its other two members. 
    • The NCCSA will make decisions regarding the transfer, posting, and vigilance matters of all Group A officers and DANICS officers stationed in Delhi, based on majority votes.
  • Role of LG: The LG is empowered to issue orders to implement the recommendations put forth by the NCCSA. However, upon disagreement the LG can send the recommendations back for reconsideration. The final authority in the case will be LG.

What did the Supreme Court say in its verdict?

The five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court has determined that the Delhi Government will possess legislative and executive control over administrative services in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD), with the exception of public order, police, and land.

Here are the key highlights of the verdict:

  1. Role of LG: The Supreme Court ruled in favour of the democratically elected Delhi government, stating that the Lieutenant Governor (LG) must abide by the decisions made by the Delhi government regarding services, except in matters relating to public order, police, and land.
  2. Control of an elected government over the governance: Article 239AA establishes a legislative assembly for the NCT of Delhi and denying a democratically elected government the power to control officers would render the principle of accountability redundant.
  3. Accountability of officers to the elected leaders: The officers are required to report to ministers. If officers fail to report to ministers or disregard their directions, the entire principle of accountability is undermined.
  4. Federalism in UTs: The central government has argued that the Constitution has a federal structure with a strong unitary bias when it comes to Union Territories (UTs). Contrary to this argument, the Supreme Court emphasised that Indian federalism is not unitary, and any further expansion of the Union’s power would contradict the constitutional scheme.

What does Article 239AA say about the governance structure in Delhi?

Article 239AA of the Constitution of India is a specific provision that deals with the special status and governance of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD). Here are the key points covered by Article 239AA:

  1. Legislative Assembly: Article 239AA provides for the establishment of a legislative assembly for the NCTD. Members of this assembly are elected by the residents of Delhi.
  2. Council of Ministers: The article also allows for the formation of a council of ministers in the NCTD. The Chief Minister is appointed by the President of India and other ministers are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor (LG) on the advice of the Chief Minister.
  3. Legislative Powers: The legislative assembly of Delhi has the power to make laws on all matters within the State List and Concurrent List, except for certain specified subjects like public order, police, and land.
  4. Executive Powers: The executive power of the NCTD is vested in the LG, who exercises these powers with the aid and advice of the council of ministers, except in matters in which the LG is required to act in his/her discretion.
  5. Conflict Resolution: In case of any difference of opinion between the LG and the council of ministers, the matter is referred to the President of India for a decision. The President’s decision on such matters is final.

What are the issues in the Delhi governance model?

  1. Distribution of Powers: One of the primary issues revolves around the distribution of powers between the elected government of Delhi and the central government represented by the Lieutenant Governor (LG). There have been disagreements and conflicts over the interpretation of Article 239AA of the Constitution, which defines the powers and responsibilities of the Delhi government and the LG.
  2. Administrative Control: The control over administrative services, such as the transfer and appointment of bureaucrats, has been a contentious matter. 
  3. Public Order and Police: While the elected government of Delhi desires more authority in these areas, the central government maintains that the LG should have a significant say in matters of public order and police.
  4. Land Acquisition: The Central government controls certain land-related issues, leading to conflicts with the Delhi government over decision-making and implementation of land policies.
  5. Financial Autonomy: The Delhi government has sought more control over finances and the ability to make independent financial decisions, while the central government has retained significant control in this regard.


plutus ias current affairs eng med 26th May 2023


Q.1 Under Article 123 the President is empowered to:

  1. Exercise her emergency powers
  2. Promulgate ordinances during the recess of the Parliament
  3. Appoint a Judge of the Supreme Court
  4. Exercise discretionary powers

Select the correct answer from the code given below:

  1. Option 1 
  2. Option 2
  3. Option 3 
  4. Option 4 

Answer: (b)

Q.2 When can the President issue an ordinance?

  1. Whenever there is a need to bypass the order of the Supreme Court.
  2. When the Union Government asks her to do so.
  3. Whenever the Judiciary advises her to do so.
  4. Whenever the Parliament is not in session and the President is satisfied that immediate action is needed.

Select the correct answer from the code given below:

  1. Option 1 
  2. Option 2
  3. Option 3 
  4. Option 4 

Answer: (d)


Q. The recent Ordinance issued by the Central Government is seen as an attempt to bypass the verdict of the Supreme Court. In light of this statement highlight the Indian concept of Separation of Powers.

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