Govt tables Delhi services bill in LS amid protest, Amit Shah flays Oppn


The Union government on Tuesday tabled a contentious bill in Lok Sabha to replace the Delhi services ordinance amid vociferous protests by Opposition members, who termed it a “murder of democracy”, evoking a sharp retort of “politically motivated” jibe from Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which gives the Delhi Lieutenant Governor a final, say on the transfer and posting of officials of the city government, will strengthen the Central government’s control over the national capital.
Tabled by Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, the Bill seeks to reverse the effect of the Supreme Court verdict in May that gave the Delhi government control over administrative services. Rai said he was “tabling the Bill on behalf of Shah.” Opposition members, including Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said the bill was an “outrageous infringement” of the powers of the Delhi government, while Trinamool member Saugata Ray asserted that the Bill was brought to overturn the Supreme Court order that granted the Delhi government the authority to transfer and appoint Group-A officers in the national capital.
The Centre had on May 19 promulgated the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, to create an authority for the transfer and posting of Group-A officers in Delhi.
Noting that the real power of administration must rest with the elected arm of the government, the Supreme Court had on May 11 ruled that the Delhi Government has control over ‘services’ in the National Capital Territory, excluding matters relating to public order, police, and land.
RSP member N K Premachandran and Congress member Shashi Tharoor questioned the legislative competence of the government to table the Bill to replace the ordinance.