Delhi Services Bill’s passage grants the Lieutenant Governor greater control over bureaucrats. Insights into the parliamentary debates, opposing viewpoints, and implications of this bill’s approval. Stay informed with concise analysis.

Delhi Services Bill
Delhi Services Bill

The Parliament, on Monday, approved the contentious Delhi Services Bill, which grants increased authority to the Lieutenant Governor over bureaucrats in the Aam Aadmi Party government.

Transition from Ordinance to Law

The bill, intended to replace a prior Ordinance introduced by the Central Government, has now been forwarded to President Murmu for official enactment.

Successful Rajya Sabha Approval

After an eight-hour-long discussion, the bill successfully navigated its final legislative step in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The proposed legislation concerning the administration of services in the capital received a comfortable majority vote in the Upper House.

Enhanced Authority for Lieutenant Governor

The approved bill provides the Lieutenant Governor with more control over Group A services in Delhi. This includes decision-making on appointments, transfers, and postings. The bill gained approval through a division, with 131 MPs voting in favor and 102 against it.

Home Minister’s Statement

During the deliberation on the Delhi Services Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah criticized the Congress party, asserting that the government’s intention wasn’t to introduce amendments that would lead to another “Emergency” situation in the country. He emphasized that the amendments were not a threat to democracy.

Arguments for the Bill’s Passage

Shah expressed his support for the passage of the Delhi Services Bill, mentioning that the Centre was open to discussing the situation in Manipur and had no hidden intentions. He highlighted that the Constitution grants Parliament the authority to enact laws for Delhi.

Views of Former Chief Justice and Opposition Parties

Former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, participating in his first parliamentary debate, supported the validity of the legislation and urged members to exercise their free conscience even if they disagreed. Parties in the I.N.D.I.A bloc opposed the bill, while the Opposition faced setbacks due to support from parties like Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress, and TDP.

Disruptions and Reprimands

Sloganeering and disruptions persisted in both Houses during the debate on the bill. The Rajya Sabha chairman reprimanded a TMC MP for disrupting decorum during the discussion on the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

Kejriwal’s Reaction

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal criticized the BJP after the bill’s passage, accusing the legislation of being a surreptitious attempt to control Delhi. He stressed that the government’s responsibility was to serve the people, not curtail their rights.

Chidambaram’s Concerns

Congress leader P Chidambaram expressed concerns about the erosion of constitutional principles due to the bill’s approval, emphasizing that it could harm the constitutional system.

Unexpected Committee Inclusion

During the Rajya Sabha vote on the Delhi Services Bill, five MPs, including BJP members, claimed their names were added to a proposed Select Committee without their consent.

Bill Progression

The bill’s debate began in the House and was later moved for consideration and approval by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The legislation bestows increased power upon the Lieutenant Governor to oversee Group A services in Delhi. The bill had already received passage in the Lok Sabha the previous week.

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