GOVERNMENT’S POWER ON ORDINANCES

  • The central government promulgated an Ordinance that undid the unanimous verdict of a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.
  • The Central government promulgated an Ordinance extending the powers of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) over services in the administration of the national capital.
  • These powers essentially involve the power to transfer and appoint bureaucrats posted to Delhi.
  • The Ordinance seeks to undo unanimous verdict of the five-judge Constitution Bench of SC which gave the Delhi government power over administrative services in the national capital.
  • The Ordinance gave the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, who is appointed by the Centre, power over services, and established a ‘National Capital Civil Service Authority (NCCSA)’.
  • The NCCSA comprising the Chief Minister and two senior IAS officials, would decide matters “by majority of votes of the members present and voting” — essentially creating a situation in which the view of the elected CM could potentially be overruled.

Ordinance in the Indian Constitution:

  • Article 123 mentions the “Power of President to promulgate Ordinances during recess of Parliament”.
  • Such an Ordinance “shall have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament”.
  • However, the government is required to bring an Ordinance before Parliament for ratification and failure to do so will lead to its lapsing at the expiration of six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament.
  • Since the President acts on the advice of the Council of Ministers, it is in effect the government that decides to bring the Ordinance.
  • Article 213 deals with the broadly analogous powers of the Governor to promulgate/ withdraw an Ordinance when the state legislature is not in session.
  • An Ordinance is valid for six weeks, or 42 days, from the date on which the next session starts.

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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