The Central government on Friday returned as many as 14 bills passed by the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi assembly, including the Lokpal bill and the legislation through which the ruling AAP hiked the salaries of Delhi MLAs. According to the reports, Union Home Ministry had cited that proper procedures were not followed by the AAP government while adopting the legislations.
This development has already triggered a fresh confrontation between the AAP government and the Centre that have been locked in a face-off over various issues.
“We sent them 10 times after completing the procedure. They have no intention of passing the bills. They are interfering in every way,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
“Should the Centre have the right to stop every law passed by Delhi? Is it the headmaster of the Delhi government?” he added further dropping hints of another tiff in the offing.
A senior Home Ministry official said since Delhi is a Union Territory, any bill it wants to adopt in the assembly has to be first sent to the central government for approval. If the nod is given, then only it can be moved for legislative approval.
When the assembly passes the bill, then it has to go to the Lieutenant Governor and again to the central government for Presidential assent. In none of the 14 bills, the Delhi government took prior approval from the central government and straightway passed the bills in the assembly.
Since proper procedures were not followed, all the 14 bills were returned to the Delhi government for correction, the official said.
This has come weeks after President Pranab Mukherjee refused assent to a legislation that sought to protect 21 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, who have been appointed Parliamentary Secretaries, from disqualification for holding the office of profit.
The bills which were returned in the last few weeks include the Janlokpal Bill 2015, the Minimum Wages (Delhi Amendment) Bill 2015, Delhi School (Verification Of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill 2015, Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill 2015, Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill 2015 and a Bill related to working journalists.
(With inputs from the PTI)