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Tussle for Power over ‘Services’ in Delhi

This article examines the implications of these developments and the potential challenges due to Tussle for Power over ‘Services’ between Delhi government and central government.

What is the context?

The recent constitutional developments surrounding the power over ‘Services’ in the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCTD) have created a tussle for Power control between the elected government and the central government.

  1. Background and Constitutional Framework:
  • Delhi’s governance under the Part C States Act and subsequent constitutional amendments.
  • Introduction of Article 239A and the Government of Union Territories Act.
  • NCTD’s special status as the only Union Territory with a constitutionally created legislature and council of ministers.
  1. Supreme Court’s Ruling and its Significance:
  • The Supreme Court’s decision on the legislative and executive power of NCTD.
  • Observation on the importance of accountable and responsive civil service for effective governance.
  1. The Government of NCTD (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023:
  • Overview of the ordinance promulgated after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
  • Restriction on the legislative power of the Delhi Legislative Assembly regarding ‘Services’ (Entry 41).
  • Establishment of the National Capital Civil Service Authority and its composition.
  1. Implications and Challenges:
  • Balancing local interests and democratic will through the President’s authority.
  • Potential legal challenges to the ordinance and opposition from political parties.
  • Exclusion of ‘Services’ from the elected government’s powers hampers effective governance.
  1. Concerns and Deliberations:
  • The significance of ‘Services’ for efficient administration and meeting public expectations.
  • The impact of limited control over officers on the performance of the elected government.
  • Ensuring quality governance in Delhi, a world-class city, requires careful consideration.

The ongoing power struggle over ‘Services’ in Delhi raises concerns about the ability of the elected government to effectively govern and meet public expectations. The Constitutional Bench’s observations on the importance of accountable civil service must be taken into account. It is crucial to strike a balance between the local interests of NCTD and the overall democratic will of the nation.

Way Forward:
  • Review the implications and constitutional aspects of the Government of NCTD (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023.
  • Encourage constructive dialogue and deliberation to find a sustainable solution.
  • Seek a balance that ensures both accountable governance and the elected government’s authority over ‘Services’ to meet the needs of the National Capital.

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