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The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, empowering the Centre to make rules for Delhi government officers and employees, including appointment, transfers and terms.
The Bill was passed with 131 votes in favour and 102 against.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 passed by the Indian Parliament on August 7, 2023 seeks to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, and give more powers to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi in matters related to services.
The bill establishes a National Capital Civil Services Authority (NCCSA) to make recommendations to the LG on transfers and postings of officers in Delhi. The NCCSA will consist of the Chief Minister of Delhi, the Chief Secretary of Delhi, and the Principal Home Secretary of Delhi. However, two of the members of the NCCSA (the Chief Secretary and Principal Home Secretary) are appointees of the Central Government. This means that the Central Government can effectively outvote the Chief Minister of Delhi on the NCCSA.
The bill also gives the LG the power to override the recommendations of the NCCSA. This means that the LG can unilaterally transfer or post officers in Delhi, even if the NCCSA has recommended otherwise.
The bill has been criticized by the Delhi government and the opposition parties. They argue that the bill is an attempt by the Central Government to take over the control of Delhi. They also argue that the bill is unconstitutional, as it violates the Delhi High Court judgment of 2018 that gave the Delhi government more powers in matters related to services.
The bill is now awaiting the assent of the President of India. If the President gives his assent, the bill will become law and the LG will have more powers in matters related to services in Delhi.