Topic: Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers
4) Supreme Court’s recent decision flags the need to address complexities in Centre- NCTD relations.Analyze. (250 words)
Why this question
The recent judgement of the SC on centre-Delhi relations has increased the ambiguity in the matter. The judgment follows a previous judgement by the SC last year. In this context it is important to discuss the issue in detail.
Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to dig deeper into the Centre- NCTD relations and bring out their complexity and the need to address the same.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the NCTD- Centre relations. E.g mention the legal/ legislative status of NCTD.
Discuss the complexity of the relationship. E.g discuss the recent judgement of the SC and the judgement given last year in the LG vs Delhi case. E.g
- 2018 judgement – It held that the Lt. Governor has to act either on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, or abide by the decision of the President on a reference made by him.
- The power to refer “any matter” to the President did not mean “every matter” should necessarily be referred to the President.
- Recent judgement (Union Territory of Delhi in Bir Singh versus Delhi Jal Board) – Both judges agree that there is no ‘service’ in the Delhi government, as all its employees come under the ‘Central services’. Its civil servants are drawn from the DANICS cadre, a service common to various Union Territories.
- Justice Sikri believes that going by a Constitution Bench decision last year, the NCTD would indeed have the power to deploy officials within its own departments. However, the absence of a public service in Delhi means Entry 41 in the State List (services; service commissions) would imply that it is a matter inapplicable to ‘Union Territories’, and therefore, the LG need not act on the Delhi government’s aid and advice.
- Therefore, he favours a solution under which transfers and postings of officers in the rank of Joint Secretary and above could be directly submitted to the LG, and those of others be processed by the Council of Ministers and sent to the LG. In case of any dispute, the LG’s view will prevail.
- Justice Bhushan, on the other hand, has ruled that once it is accepted that there is no ‘service’ under the NCTD, there is no scope for its government to exercise any executive power in this regard.
- A larger Bench will now decide on the question relating to control over the services.
Conclusion– based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.