Many of the decisions taken by the Delhi government in the past few weeks are vulnerable to judicial scrutiny and subsequent annulment as they have not been referred to the Lt-Governor (LG) for statutory approval.
Sources said these are specific statutes where the Constitution has entrusted the power to the administrator or the LG to regulate issues as per laid-down procedures. The Delhi government’s order on management quota in private schools was set aside mainly because it was not approved by the LG. Sources said that there are other decisions that may meet the same fate.
The matters which have not been referred to the LG for his approval pertain to notifications, constitution of commissions, revenue, appointments, induction of personnel, etc. Some of these decisions include constitution of commissions of inquiry in the CNG fitness case, Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) and on women’s safety; supersession of Delhi Waqf Board; the Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1955; setting up of a panel of advocates-on-record and panel of arguing counsels to represent the Delhi government in the Supreme Court of India; enhancement of pay in respect of DANICS officers, prosecuting officers and ex-cadre officers of Delhi prison etc.
Senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, said: “Apart from notifications, the government is not even following the relevant provisions of the Constitution as well as Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Legislative Assembly of GNCTD, 1997 while introducing and approving Bills in the Delhi Assembly. As a result, a number of Bills passed by the Arvind Kejriwal government have not been approved, including Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (Amendment) Act, 2015, Delhi Netaji Subhash University of Technology Bill, 2015, Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
Gupta also said that many important Bills have been tabled in the Assembly without the prior approval of the LG, as mandated under Section- 45 of GNCTD. These Bills comprise the Delhi Schools Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee Act (Amendment), Delhi School Education Bill, Working Journalists Provisions Act, Minimum Wages Bill, Right of Citizen to Time-Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015, Code of Criminal Procedure (Amended) 2015.
The other decisions that are vulnerable to judicial scrutiny are Revision of Minimum Rates of Agricultural Land for the purpose of charging of Stamp Duty; Enhancement of rate of tax on private motor vehicles registered in the name of companies and firms; Amendment in Central Sales Tax (Delhi) Rules, 2005; Amendment in the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010 for enhancement of licence fee in respect of hotels and guest houses; Appointments as Nominee Directors of GNCTD on Board of Power companies in Delhi; Posting of other cadre officers on IAS Cadre Post and Inducting Police personnel from other States in Anti-Corruption Branch, Delhi.
Gupta has written to Kejriwal in this regard. “More than 50 important notifications issued in the name of LG and Government of NCT of Delhi are pending and have not been referred to the LG for his approval. If these face judicial annulment, it will be serious setback to public interest issues,” he has said in the letter.