The Centre on Thursday said the Delhi government is responsible for handling the present COVID-19 crisis in the national capital as providing healthcare to the people of the city continues to be under its domain. The clarification from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) came after the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021 came into force from Tuesday.
The MHA also said the amendments to the GNCTD Act will in no way alter the constitutional and legal responsibilities of the elected government in the national capital, but would ensure better governance. “The amendments to the GNCTD Act, 1991 in no way alter the constitutional and legal responsibilities of the elected government to take necessary action, in respect of the subjects transferred to them in the State and Concurrent Lists of the Constitution of India, including subjects such as health, education etc.,” the MHA said in a statement.
It said the amendments will define the responsibilities of the elected government and the lieutenant governor (LG) and “create a harmonious relationship” between the legislature and the executive. The GNCTD (Amendment) Act, 2021 came into force on Tuesday, after being passed by the Lok Sabha on March 22, by the Rajya Sabha on March 24 and after the assent of the president on March 28.
Sections 21, 24, 33 and 44 of the Act were amended. The MHA said the objective of the amendment act is to make it more relevant to the needs of the capital, further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the LG and create a harmonious relationship between the legislature and the executive.
“The amendments would ensure better governance in the NCT of Delhi and lead to improved implementation of schemes and programmes meant for the common people of Delhi,” the statement said. The amendments are consistent with the existing legal and constitutional provisions, and in line with the judgments of the Supreme Court on July 4, 2018 and February 14, 2019, it added.
According to the legislation, the “government” in Delhi means the “Lieutenant Governor” and the city government will now have to seek the opinion of the LG before taking any executive action.