The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023
Highlights of the Bill
The Bill establishes the National Capital Civil Services Authority, which consists of the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary of Delhi, Principal Home Secretary of Delhi. The Authority will make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) regarding transfers and postings of officials and disciplinary matters.
The Bill empowers the LG to exercise his sole discretion on several matters including those recommended by the National Capital Civil Services Authority, and the summoning, prorogation and dissolution of the Delhi Legislative Assembly.
It authorises department secretaries to bring to the notice of the LG, the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary any matter that may bring Delhi Government into controversy with the Central Government.
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Key Issues and Analysis
Conferring powers over the transfer and posting of officers to the Authority may break the triple chain of accountability that links the civil services, ministers, the legislature and citizens. This may violate the principle of parliamentary democracy, which is a part of the basic structure doctrine.
The LG has been granted sole discretion in several matters including when the Legislative Assembly will convene. This implies that the Chief Minister may be unable to convene a session needed for essential government business.
Department secretaries will bring certain matters directly to the LG, Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary, without consulting the concerned minister. This may go against the collective responsibility of the Cabinet, as the concerned ministers cannot provide his inputs.
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