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Cleared by MHA, 2 Delhi govt Bills may finally get President’s nod

As many as nine crucial legislations passed by Arvind Kejriwal’s government, after it came to power in 2015, have been pending with the Ministry of Home Affairs, officials said.

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Two key Bills of the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government may finally get Presidential nod, with the Union Home Ministry recommending their approval to President Pranab Mukherjee. As many as nine crucial legislations passed by Arvind Kejriwal’s government, after it came to power in 2015, have been pending with the Ministry of Home Affairs, officials said. Delhi government and the Centre have been at loggerheads, with Chief Minister Kejriwal accusing the Narendra Modi government of blocking key Bills and not letting his government function.

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The first Bill set to be cleared by the MHA is the Delhi Netaji Subhash University of Technology Bill, 2015. It was passed by the Delhi Assembly in July 2015 with a view to upgrade Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, currently affiliated to Delhi University, into a separate university.

According to officials familiar with the development, the Bill was approved following inter-ministerial discussion and after the Kejriwal government gave clarifications on certain contentious clauses of the proposed legislation. It may be recalled that President Mukherjee, in June last year, had refused to give assent to a Bill passed by the Delhi Assembly that protected 21 AAP MLAs, who had been appointed Parliamentary Secretaries and who now face disqualification.

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On the two Bills, officials said, the President may approve or reject them after examination despite the Centre’s recommendation. Earlier, Mukherjee had approved the Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services Amendment Bill, 2015 on the recommendation of the MHA.

The second Bill that has been approved also relates to the education department, headed by deputy CM Manish Sisodia. The Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill was passed by the Assembly in December 2015, as per records available with the MHA. Sources said a third Bill related to Sisodia’s ministry is in the process of being sent to President’s secretariat.

However, other Bills, including the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015, Minimum Wages Bill, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (Amendment) Act 2015, and the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Condition of Service), are still pending. Government sources said the Jan Lokpal Bill needs to reworked by the Delhi government and cannot be cleared in the present form.

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A senior government official said, “We have followed laid down constitutional and statuary procedures, rules and regulations before forwarding the Bills, which led to inordinate delays. Since Delhi is a Union Territory, the Bill has first come to the central government for approval. When the assembly passes the Bill, it has to go to the Lieutenant-Governor and again to the central government for Presidential assent.”

First published on: 15-01-2017 at 03:28:12 am
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