Discuss the essentials of the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act and anomalies, if any, that have led to recent reported conflicts between the elected representatives and institution of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi. Do you think this will give rise to a new trend in functioning of the Indian federal politics?

The 69th Constitutional Amendment act is important in the light of the conflict between Lt. Governor and the elected representatives of Delhi. The crisis originated in the context of the limit of the constitutional powers of the elected government in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The amendment act

It was passed in 1991. It had inserted articles 239AA and 239AB by providing for legislative assembly and Council of Ministers. It declared the Union Territory of Delhi as the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Controversy

The main conflict was implicit in the article 239 AA(4). It says the Council of minister shall aid and advise LG. In case any cases arise due to different opinions of the Council of ministers and the Lieutenant Governor, then the case could be referred to the president by the Lt. Governor. And in case the decision of the President is pending, Lt. Governor has the authority to make decisions.

Court Verdict

The High Court also intervened in the matter and gave the judgment that the power of the local government is inferior to the Lt. Governor. The Lt. Governor is the real ruler of Delhi.

Impact on federalism

  • Governor was given discretionary power in the matters of appointments.
  • The Lt. Governor was accused of acting on behalf of the center to suppress the state government.
  • The people of Delhi will become the main victim of the conflict. Good governance is not possible in this condition.

Comment

The federal provisions of the constitution of India not only promote the unity between the state and the center but also enable smooth functioning of the development process. Only cooperative federalism can ensure the welfare of people and the development of the country.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Discuss the essentials of the 69th Constitutional Amendment Act and anomalies, if any, that have led to recent reported conflicts between the elected representatives and institution of the Lieutenant Governor in the administration of Delhi. Do you think this will give rise to a new trend in functioning of the Indian federal politics?

Published: December 5, 2016 | Modified:September 2, 2020

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