Delhi, the capital of India, is home to one of the largest metropolises in the world. With an urban population of almost 10 million people, Delhi is one of India’s most developed and modern cities.
Delhi has been a municipal corporation continuously since its foundation in 1819. It was here that many of its institutions were built, including:
- Public Works Department (PWD),
- Central Public Works Department (CPWD),
- Indian Railways (IRS),
- National Highways Authority of India (NHAI),
- Municipal Corporation Services Commission (MCSC), and
- Police Commissionerate.
As a result, Delhi has a rich history dating back to ancient times that continues to this day.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act (GNCTD Act) got enacted to resolve some of the problems accumulated over time with the management, development, and operation of metropolitan city properties.
The main objective of introducing the GNCTD Act was to supplement the constitutional provisions relating to the council of ministers in Delhi.
Table of Contents
Details of the GNCTD Act
The GNCTD Act is a piece of legislation governing the Delhi government’s operations and is based on the model of the Indian Constitution and the Indian Parliament passed the Act in 1992.
The Act sets out the structure and functions of the government and lays out the rules and regulations for its operation.
The GNCTD Act empowered the assembly to legislate on all matters within the state and concurrent list, excluding land, police, and public order.
In 1991, Delhi was given a completely elective assembly and an accountable government through a constitutional change.
The 69th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1991 presented the Union Territory of Delhi with a special standing. It redesignated the Union Territory of Delhi as the ‘National Capital Territory of Delhi’ and its administrator as the lieutenant governor (LG).
Though a Union Territory, Old Delhi was considered a special case and given a special constitutional standing by the Parliament. The 1991 act provided a wholly elected assembly and a council of ministers accountable to the assembly.
However, the Parliament laws prevail over those created by the Delhi Assembly. After the GNCTD Act of 1991, the Lieutenant Governor was vested with a wide range of powers and special recognition.
Over the past years, there has been a conflict between the Lieutenant governor and Chief Minister over power sharing.
The main issue was who to give more priority or importance when there was a conflict between the Lieutenant Governor and Council of Ministers on any particular matter.
Provisions of the GNCT of Delhi Act of 1991
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act (GNCTD Act) 1991 is an Act of the Parliament of India which established the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Act came into force on 1 February 1992 and provided the following:
- The Union territory of Delhi; and other areas may get notified by the Central Government from time to time.
- There shall be a Legislative Assembly for the NCT of Delhi, and the executive authority of the NCTD shall be vested in the Lieutenant Governor.
- The Legislative Assembly shall incorporate the power to make laws for the National Capital Territory of Delhi concerning matters enumerated in the State List and Concurrent List in so far as they apply to the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
- The Central Government may, by notifying in the Official Gazette, extend to the National Capital Territory of Delhi the Constitution (Seventh Amendment) Act, 1956, and any other enactment which is in force in a State immediately before the Act.
- By notification in the official gazette, the Central Government may direct that if any law is made before the commencement of this Act, it may modify.
- After modification and adaptation, the central government may, as specified in the notification, be in force within the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Criticism of the GNCTD Act
The GNCT of Delhi Act is an essential act for the people of Delhi, as it provides for the formation of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD).
The Act also provides for the powers and functions of the government, the territory’s administration, and the government’s accountability to the people of Delhi.
Many people have criticised the GNCT of Delhi Act for failing to deliver on its promises. The Act was supposed to help improve the quality of life for residents of Delhi, but it has not been able to do so.
There are several reasons for this, including the fact that the Act does not have enough to force change and has not been appropriately implemented.
Additionally, the Act does not address some critical issues Delhi residents face, such as air pollution and water shortages. So, many people feel that the GNCTD Act has failed to deliver on its promises.
Critical Analysis of GNCTD Act 1991
The GNCTD 1959 was a landmark in the history of India.
New Delhi was named National Capital after thirty years, and the 1991 GNCTD act was passed. During this period, many debates were done on this bill, which had to pass through long years in Parliament.
At last, the President’s ordinance was passed, and the Governor notified the same by passing the GNCTD Act. The GNCTD Act was an act authorising the Constitution of a body called “Delhi Development Authority” (DDA) to plan, develop and manage Delhi city.
In the present-day scenario of Delhi NCR, the GNCT plays an essential role in providing and developing infrastructure for the public.
The GNCTD Act aims to make Delhi a modern city with all the government-provided facilities. There are different development projects carried out in Delhi NCR, which are not much known to ordinary people, and these projects cover various facilities like roads, security, and public space.
The GNCTD Act has been in place since 1991 and has helped to keep Delhi clean and safe. At the same time, it is sad to see as it might come to an end in the near future. So, because of contravention to Articles 239 AA and 239BB might suffer a judicial review by the court due to giving a special identity to Delhi.
In the latest judgment of the Govt. of NCT of Delhi vs. Union of India 2018, the Supreme Court found these articles in contravention to Constitution.
The previous Act of 1991 has been controversial, with some arguing that it violates the Constitution and gives the Delhi government too much power.
What was the motto of the GNCTD Act?
The main aim of this Act was to give more power to the lieutenant governor of the national capital territory of Delhi and remove the elected government's power.
When did the GNCTD Act pass?
The Act of the Government of NCT of Delhi was passed on March 2021 when it received presidential assent.
When was Delhi declared as NCT?
The states recognition act 1956 created the union territory of Delhi. The 69th amendment in the Constitution in 1991 declared Delhi's union territory to be Delhi's national capital territory.
Is NCT of Delhi a state?
Delhi officially referred to as the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT), is India's city and union territory, including New Delhi.
Which amendment gave Delhi legislative assembly?
The 69th amendment act 1991 was followed by the government of the national capital territory of Delhi act 1991, which declared the union territory of Delhi to be the National Capital Territory of Delhi.